Monday, August 30, 2010

Non-Muslims and The Mosque plus 2 Other Stuffs I'm Confused About

When someone champions something to which he does not understand, it is just plain sad and pathetic. Let us move into a realm of fantasy and consider a fish who champions global warming (yes, in the negative sense of things) or Bush championing war in Iraq (Wait, that is reality. He truly does not understand anything does he?).

So it is a bit pathetic when a Muslim champions for Islam's cause by condemning the act of besmirching the sanctity of the mosque. Well if it is indeed besmirching, I would not have a problem with it. However, this ‘act’ only involved a non-Muslim entering a mosque, the same non-Muslim handing out donations and that same lady giving a talk in the mosque.

How is that considered ‘besmirching’?

Well, according to him, it is because there’s political motive behind the visit – and how does he prove it? Simply by pointing out the fact that she wasn’t wearing ‘tudung’. Nice, should I also point out that one is a frog simply because he jumps a lot? (or that he does kind of look like one).

Let’s take a look at history and traditions. Of course coming from me this does not hold much water, but as it has already been said by Islamic scholars like Dr Asri and Ustaz Zaharuddin and well respected Muslim leader in Nik Aziz, I think I’m well supported.

Rasulullah s.a.w. has once met Christians of Najran at the An-Nabawi mosque during his time. The purpose of the visit was to debate on matters of religion. Best explained from this text I found in the world web wide: “When the Najran delegation reached Madina, they debated with the Prophet in an investigatory dialogue for two or three days in the mosque (Masjid) of Madina. Prophet Muhammad allowed them to pray in the mosque (Masjid al-Nabawi) where the Muslims prayed. The whole incident was the first occurrence of peaceful dialogue between Christians and Muslims; it was the first time that Christians prayed in a mosque.” They cited Ibn Hisham, Abd al-Malik, al-Sirat al Nabaviyyah, Egypt 1955,575 as their source. I have no reason to doubt their source as this has been widely circulated long before this issue cropped up – and well documented.

On the whole matter of rules and regulations, you can read here for a better understanding.

One could argue that an investigatory dialogue to debate whose religion speaks the truth is a more controversial matter than, let’s say, handing out donation – just ask Zulkifli Noordin. But some people just choose to be ignorant for the benefit of personal gains. In fact, commonly in such debates one would deny the truths about the other’s contention. Shouldn’t it be considered besmirching one’s religion if indeed one party denies the existence of the other religion’s God? Then why did Rasulullah s.a.w. allow the Najran Christians to pray in the mosque?

Would any actual Muslim even consider to question Rasulullah s.a.w.’s judgment?

Looking at the big picture, what Rasulullah s.a.w. did was an act of preaching the true faith. What he did is Dakwah, to attract the non-Muslims, in this case Christians, to Islam. Who can deny that his approach has indeed been successful? Christianity has long existed before Islam, so has Judaism for that matter, but there is no one other faith

that has grown as rapidly as Islam.

I mean, let's look west for a bit. The location, New York City. The Google keyword, "Ground Zero". The issue, building a social centre for Muslims right smack in the middle of New York and very close to the World Trade Centre. Why is it an issue? Well, it wasn't at first, the builders were given the go-ahead by the government, the city council and the mayor and so on, but it later became an issue because people found out that 2 top-most floors is where the mosque is located.

It suddenly became a terror centre. Here we have a country so diverse in culture and so diverse the people, unable to accept a mosque being build close to the World Trade Centre because it reminds them of 9/11 and equating what was a terror act to all things Islam. In New York, they are afraid of Islam, afraid of mosques and afraid to get know the real Islam.

Thus this brings us back to matters back home. It is not like this issue has never happened before. In fact, one only needs to go back to 2009 to find a similar incident that raised a similar issue. Of course, the players are a bit different, the state is the same and the messenger, well one expects no less from Utusan. Read it here, but I can say that it is basically the same – change Xavier with Teo, Jais with Mais, Pemuda UMNO with Perkasa – so don’t bother.

Sadly when a non-Muslim has so willingly entered a mosque in Malaysia, when some sees it as an opportunity to Da'wah and to show the beauty of Islam, some choose to see it in a bad way. To even suggest the banning of it when Rasulullah s.a.w. himself allowed it. Have we lost the plot? Do we not understand the meaning of Islam anymore?

It is utterly pathetic to say that you’re championing Islam when Islam itself does not want It to be championed in such a manner. Scream, kick, protest and do what you must for the sake of Islam but do not associate it with fallacy.

By the way, where’s Khairy in all of these?


Explain To Us Please

Yes PM Najib, care to explain what 1 Malaysia really means?

The Chinese are seeing light at the end of the 1 Malaysia tunnel. The oppositions are seeing nothing but a carbon copy of their agenda. Perkasa just doesn’t see anything.

I tried understanding the whole huu-haa that is ‘1 Malaysia’ and though I appreciate the attempt by the government to portray Malaysia as a rather more wholesome entity, I can’t see pass the number ‘1’. That is there’s 1 race above the others – as expounded by Perkasa and some in UMNO.

When someone tries to explain that it is about bringing the different races in Malaysia under one huge umbrella with the words ‘1 Malaysia’ and the Malaysian flag donning its every space, it quickly got shot down by those associated with the ones that actually came up with the concept. The PM’s mentor shot it down, his deputy shot it down, his cousin shot it down and even his lobbyist – his main man doing all the Malay-based work -- shot it down. The only one really championing this cause is his purported enemy from within.

I would love to know it’s all about. But all I’m getting are mix messages – from the same people.


Surely New Zealand Could Do Much Better Than That

New Zealand could really do much better. I mean, they’ve got an Oscar winning director in Peter Jackson. Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Elijah Wood have all been there and stayed there for quite some time. Sam Neil and Anna Paquin is said to be from there. These are beautiful influential people, idols to some people in this world, highly attractive and would definitely do well to advertise the beautiful country that is New Zealand.

But instead they have the Malaysian Tourism Minister doing all the work for them, without actually working for them (I’m guessing with her salary being paid by the Malaysian government).

I read The Star almost every day and since last week, I’ve not seen a single issue where our beloved (and said to be the most efficient based on KPIs achieved) tourism minister not advertising for the New Zealanders. It’s great that she could have a holiday whilst working (argue all you want, that is the dream job) and we’re all happy for her, but seriously? So far I’ve seen pictures of her in the snow, by the country side and the latest one is the gondola ride with her husband – looking cozy with matching vests, blankets and hats. I’m not going to even question what’s her husband doing there (they look like a nice happy couple).

I realize you’re doing a world of good over there promoting Malaysia since this country is indeed very beautiful. But are all the coverage necessary? You probably reached like 5,000 Kiwis with the “Malaysia, Truly Asia” message, but New Zealand reached at least 1.5million Malaysian people with all the pictures you published. I’m not against promoting other countries, but at least get something substantial in return.

However, I’m happy to say, I welcome today’s article which has this line “In wrapping up the tour mission…” in it. This basically means, it’s all over folks! What a rousing success for the Ministry, and New Zealand! What joy it is for Malaysia! Not only does the mission promote Malaysia outside the country, but it also serves as an inspiration to all the children, the younger generation, that if you study hard and work hard, you could one day end up with the dream job that is Minister of Tourism.

Now how do I book an online trip to New Zealand? Christchurch looks nice this time of year. Wait, am I allowed to go to Christchurch, given that there's the word "Christ" and "church" and you know the whole issue with mosques and non-Muslims? Does it work both ways Pak Ali?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blackburn Vs Arsenal

Just thought I'd make weekly predictions of Arsenal's chances in premier league matches. Since Arsenal is my favourite team (since 1998) and I've been through ups and downs with this club, albeit me being in Malaysia and Arsenal is in England.

I used to be highly passionate about English football and Arsenal in particular; used to go through sleepless nights when Arsenal loses a match, or being extremely jovial that I couldn't sleep when they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford to claim the title.

Now, I'm more of a laid back fan. I won't be too disheartened if Arsenal loses, happy when the win and I do still hope they could win the league again. But I won't have sleepless nights anymore.

This year Arsenal have spent wisely on middle-aged, established performers. The likes of Koncsielny (I'm not sure if this is the right spelling, but to lazy to check) and Squillaci would be bring added steel at the back. Squillaci is a seasoned (at a relatively good age still, 30) footballer, have loads of experience and have been to European finals before. Koncsielny is a good young footballer at 24 and still have lots to learn - under the stewardship of Squillaci and Vermaelen, he is in good hands.

The best deal would be Chamakh. A strong centre forward, good first touch, good passing ability and an all around team player. He can score the odd goal here and there, but our midfield is more than capable to score goals as well. So he will be there to contribute more than just goals for the team.

So for my prediction this week (by the way I'm highly optimistic about everything so as an Arsenal fan you can expect a 'win' prediction almost every week, even when Arsenal plays with 10 under-aged kids, and Almunia), Arsenal to win it 3-0.

Sam Allardyce will be using his age old rough housing tactics (Arsene would call it bullying/rugby) but with players like Vermaelen, Koncsielny and Song in the side, we have strongly built players as well. Also Chamakh isn't too soft himself and Walcott has beefed up since 2 years ago.

I expect this to be a much easier game than previous encounters.

Monday, August 23, 2010

37th...and a Second!

Congrats! Malaysia has been ranked 37th most something-something country in the world. Can be seen in Rocky's blog here. Based on quality of life, health, the economy and fight against corruption, Malaysia gets number 37.

The fight against corruption factor must not have played a big part considering I can name at least 10 cases just off the top of my head - of course I'm not going to name the 10 because I'm sure most Malaysians can do the same.

Quality of life? I do like our country when it comes to that. Of course there are certain things that can be tweaked a little as I've commented here and other things as well, including public transport and the internet.

Economy's doing well. Kudos to those who have been fighting tooth and nail to bite the recession on their soft tushy. We could do with a little bit more FDIs but I'm sure they'll come back to invest given that we have got fantastic resources. But as one blogger once commented (Chedet? Razaleigh?), we need to know where we lie; Do we provide cheap labor? Are we moving towards a more high income economy - hence as Chedet puts it, people will receive high wages, salaries and profits?

Health. Well no argument. We do have healthy people living in Malaysia. Not lots of obese people around and the hospital I wouldn't say has a lot of unhealthy people lying about. Of course it would be wrong to say there's none at all.

Talking about health and hospitals - look at what just came out whilst I'm typing this entry (not out of me...out of the...never mind):

So, anyhoo, any wonder why my daughter's been cranky lately? Hee~

Nothing's for certain yet...but...Yea! Hooray for Malaysia hooray for me! Can't continue writing this entry, my mind is filled with a lot of things.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Work and benefits

I've been working for 2 years now with a big organization that provides sufficiently for its staff. I don't really have to worry about medical expenses, dental and also not too much on maternity - if my wife decides the oven is hot enough for the dough *wink wink*.

However, is that good enough of a reason to forego interests and ambitions? I know of a lot of people who is stuck in a boring, dead-end job specifically because of this.

To me, having a job is already a good thing. Sufficed that I am able to provide for my family and give them a bit more than just the necessities. I am grateful for the added benefits, but I'm looking for more than just that.

If an offer comes along, promising similar wage but less benefits I will consider. Provided of course the line of work is something that is of interest to me. Or that which I am passionate about.

But the problem is, where work is concerned, our income level is quite low. On top of that, not many companies or agencies give benefits. Private companies struggle to attract talent because of the fact that GLCs are able to give more - even though payment wise, some might be able to compete.

Furthermore, our healthcare is not up to standard. Thankful as I am to the government that healthcare is free or at most, cheap, but the standard leaves a lot to be desired.

We have qualified doctors and nurses but not enough - this is well documented.

Some government hospitals are in a horrible state. The facilities are quite run-down. The system, haywire. Some of the staffs are too cranky, probably because of the work condition. Every other month I go to a polyclinic for my daughter's routine check-up, and it is not the most ideal way to go about things - I would have to wait 3 hours for a 10 minute check-up.

For these reasons, government hospitals are considered last resort to some.

Private hospitals on the other hand have great facilities and are quite comfortable - by the looks of it. But too expensive. Only those with above average income can afford its services without work benefits.

Which leaves some of us in a quandary. I don't mind going to government hospital but who wouldn't prefer better services?

Of course, as I said earlier, thankfully I'm sufficiently covered. But for some less fortunate, they are not covered at all. Then there's the wage problem. Put two and two together, they get nothing much.

On that note, I would like to give a pat on the back for the thinkers in the PR coalition for wanting to do something about the minimum family income factor. Economically, the men on the ground are not supposed to care too much about 30% quota here and there because those are not the real economy.

Yes, helping corporations and bumiputera would benefit a lot of people in terms of providing a job and all, but it can happen even without quotas. Not incidentally, the rich becomes richer because of this.

Real economy to us is being able to put food on the table, being able to take care of our children and parents, being able to pay the bills at the end of the month. That's the real worry.

Any effort towards increasing the minimum family income should be lauded. Of course, I wouldn't know the mechanics towards achieving that but I welcome anyone who tries. This country has great potentials and is more than able to achieve great heights. Any previous administrative failures on the part of the government, including corruptions and mismanagement, should be eliminated.

It is high time now. The nation is becoming more and more educated and it is therefore the right time to move towards a high-income nation. Let's make an effort.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Starting off / Baby dumping

To start off my newest (and soon to go to waste like most of the others
I've started off) blog is a brief explanation (though no one cares) on
what it's about and perhaps a taste of what's to come.

I've focused my previous blog (deleted due to specific reasons) on
politics and religion and admittedly I'm quite lop-sided in my
commentaries. It's hard to be non-bias but it's harder to accept not
being so - I just cannot help it, my brain doesn't multi-task as I want
it too.

As much as I despise others for being bias I find no joy in being one.
Surprise, surprise.

I've also written about my life (this blog is still in existence but it
moves like a sloth). But I soon found out that, there's nothing much to
it that would be of interest to myself, let alone others. I must admit,
I'm not writing just to satisfy my writing needs, I appreciate
readership. If I wanted to write for myself might as well I do it the
old fashioned way - use a palm top diary (does this still exist? I
Googled and the latest result in the first page is in 2006).

So this blog is my thoughts on everything under the sun.

First issue - baby dumping

Take for example the issue of baby dumping. The issue is simple - they
'make' babies, they do not want babies, they throw away babies. Simple
enough. The repercussions? An illness that has plagued the society like
the Ebola virus.

Is it worse than the Ebola? Yes. Simply because the Ebola can still be
cured, there's no curing a social illness. We might be able to reduce
it, but doubt it would make much of a difference. Problem is, we do not
know how to tackle the problem.

Scientists rely on each others' findings and research to cure a virus.
But for social illness, we can't even agree on the cause.

One political party said it is because of new years' celebration, and
backed their hypothesis with correlation between numbers and date of
occurrence. Fair enough. However, I don't quite agree because that would be too
simple. Surely this thing doesn't happen overnight or that 400 people
decide to have unsafe fun bump whilst celebrating an occasion. I don't
rule out that some might have happened on one of those unruly
"night-out" but surely that's not it.

The unruly night out though is a culture that should not be encouraged as
it breeds moral indiscretion among the younger generation. Even though
not all are stupid enough to fall down the immoral road, some are.
Again, not to conclude that this is the cause of the trend.

I must agree though with some of the women group and NGOs. Poor parental
control and lack of education are one of the root causes. In other
words, ignorant parents and stupid children make baby dumping happen.

Parents, stop your kids from becoming rogues. It's not like you don't
see it coming. As a parent myself (though to a 2 year old) I know it is
easier said than done, but we must not let the children be the bosses of
us. We must sacrifice more, strive a lot more and care a whole lot more.

Rogues parents, well you're a lost cause - continue what you're

Sex education? Very important I would say. But it shouldn't just focus
on how to use contraceptives and what position could avoid pregnancy. It
should be about the ramifications of sex out of wedlock, the morality
behind such undertakings, the impact on society, the impact on the
individual, the finances (this will scare them), the law. Basically
everything that would not only make them think twice, but that would
also scare the bajizzes out of them.

I hate to say it but, sometimes a bit of corporal punishment might do
some good. Just whack'em!