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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Keperihatinan Raja Zarith Sofia Sultanah Johor...

Almarhum  Sultan_Idris_Shah_II adalah seorang dari Kesultanan Negeri Perak yang betul-betul berjiwa rakyat, dan apa yang apa pada diri beliau telah diwarisi oleh puteri baginda Raja Zarith Sofia yang kini Sultanah Negeri Johor. 

Aku telah mendapat email mengenai satu artikel yang ditulis oleh Tuanku Sultanah Raja Zarith Sofia didalam ruangan kolum Mind Matter akhbar The Star bertarikh 14 Aug 2011. aku akan cuba translate ke bahasa Melayu dari 4 perenggan terakhir kolum tersebut..

Satu kisah yang saya lihat dan tidak akan lupa ialah apabila melihat wanita dan lelaki beratur dengan sabar untuk mendapatkan wang ihsan selepas bencana banjir tahun 2006 di sebuah masjid dengan memberi nama dan alamat kepada pegawai kerajaan.  

Beberapa tahun yang lepas saya melihat dari helaian majalah dan terlihat satu beg tangan wanita yang direka khas dengan menelan belanja sebanyak RM90,000.00 , Adakah patut saya minta suami belikan untuk saya? OOhhh, tidak,, kerana masih lagi teringat akan mangsa-mangsa banjir yang untuk mendapatkan bantuan sebanyak RM500.00 saya merasa berdosa dengan pembelian beg tangan tersebut.  Berapa banyak keluarga yang akan dapat dengan kos harga beg tangan tersebut, Dan bila memikir tentang ini saya memahami apa itu takwa dan apakah saya dapat melakukannya. Saya tidak perlu memikirkan tentang kekayaan kerana selama ini saya sudah memiliki sebuah kehidupan yang paling istimewa. 

Untuk hangpa nak baca keseluruhan cerita dalam kisah tu, aku copy paste balik... 

Source/Agency: The Star

Column: Mind Matters

London riots bring up questions about society


I AM one of the many thousands of Malaysians who studied in England in the 1970s and early 1980s. Since then, I have visited England, specifically London, three times - for an alumni weekend in 2009 and for other invitations I received twice last year, first in October, when I visited the Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies and gave a talk to Malaysian students, and again in December, after receiving an invitation to discuss Islam and programmes carried out for the Muslim community there.

I also met up with some students from Johor. So, at a Malaysian restaurant I sat, surrounded by these young, bright students studying at different colleges in London, some doing engineering, others medicine. Initially, there was some awkwardness both on my part and theirs - until I asked them about the Tube (London Underground) and taxi fares. I told them I used to take the Tube and the bus and that I could only afford to take a taxi if I had not used up the monthly allowance my father gave me. Talking about public transport fares then and now seemed to break the ice. I didn’t seem so alien after all.

When news came in about the London riots, I thought about our Malaysian students who are studying there. I wondered about the safety of this particular group of Johor students whom I had met.

We’ve all seen footage of the riots in London and in other British cities. Like in the United States, many people in Britain and other countries in Europe are facing unemployment, less spending power and falling property values. Some British journalists were of the opinion that moral decay and the yawning gap between the rich and the poor were two of the many reasons which caused the riots.

Moral decay

Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator, in his article “The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom” wrote: “Indeed, I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.”

I emailed my English boarding school friends to ask if they and their families were all right. One of them had seen the video of Mohd Asyraf Haziq Rossli bleeding on a street before getting robbed. She wrote back: “I saw the clip of the youth being robbed and it made me feel sick and very angry that people could behave in such an inhumane way. The fact it was a visitor to the UK makes it much worse and I hope he recovers well and does not think the majority of the UK is like this. I feel parenting has a great deal to do with this and there has been a loss of respect for authority, elders and community.”

Another friend, a doctor with the National Health Service, wrote: “London was quieter last night. The police advised us to shut the practice early and send the staff home which we did. The high streets look like battle zones with shops boarded up or shuttered.

“It is really unbelievable with the fires and the looting making it feel a bit like civil war! We have a disenfranchised, disconnected and discontented generation who we need to re-engage.”

We Malaysians, however, shouldn’t be so smug and think that our country is far superior than Britain. We, too, have a “discontented generation”, with many young people who are unemployed or who choose to remain unemployed. And we have gangsters too.

We have a huge number of single mothers who are left by their husbands to fend for themselves and their children. We have unwed mothers. We have far too many cases of incest. We have drug users and drug suppliers. We have animal trafficking. We have heard and read about child abuse.

At the same time, it could not have escaped our attention that there is a simmering tension between the different racial communities. Religious authorities make conflicting media statements which leave most of us bewildered rather than reassured. Who should we believe? And why can’t they sit down and argue the issues at hand?

We have again and again failed at agreeing to disagree. Since it is Ramadan, and even before the London riots began, I had started to think again about our society and our social problems. Being hungry does that to you. We become introspective, we question our values and our priorities.

One of the things I realised - and one which has become more and more blatant over the years - is that we place more value on our outward appearances. Thus, designer handbags, shoes and clothes emblazoned with logos are what we strive to possess because owning them means that our husbands are successful or that we ourselves are successful in our own careers.

We have become superficial and we definitely defy the saying of not judging books by their covers. Many affluent middle-aged women have taut faces, no sagging jawlines, and flawless skin. And yes, I say this with much envy because I do not have great skin; I have more chins than I wouldwlike and my eyebags are reaching the proportions of the must-have Birkin handbags.

Similar concerns

We do, therefore, have similar concerns with the already-developed countries: we have made it a priority to have material things rather than striving to be good, decent people.

It has become unfashionable to talk about moral values, integrity, spirituality and all other things which we may or may not possess but which cannot be seen or touched physically. We struggle with all things intangible. We prefer to have possessions which we can see, touch and hold.

As Hisham Hellyer said during his lecture titled “Islamisation in the 21st Century: Islamic Renewals”: “For despite the wailing and moaning about the ‘evil West’ and its corrupting influences that one so often finds within the Muslim world, the Muslim world at large is rushing to become Western as much as humanly possible. And it is not rushing to imbibe those laudable aspects of Western civilisation that do continue to exist through the grace of God, despite the many problems that exist in the West ... The Muslim world sees the technological advancements of the West, and rushes to be like the West ... forgetting that actually, the mark of progress according to the Islamic worldview is an increase of taqwa, not material wealth.”

So, do we, in Malaysia, also have that “universal culture of selfishness and greed” which Oborne wrote about when describing society in Britain? I would like to think that we don’t but a part of me knows that we do. I don’t see much effort at giving back to society or of wanting to learn about those who live wretched lives. It is hard for me to ignore that despite our rush to be a developed country we still have many social issues which need to be addressed, if not solved. I cannot look the other way and ignore the poor who live in deplorable conditions in some parts of Johor Baru. Our cities have grown but together with this growth is the increase of the urban poor. If they are filled with anger or frustration, it is because we have not made enough efforts to listen to them, or to help them.

One of the things I saw, and which I will never forget, was of men and women queuing up to get their wang ihsan after the floods of 2006. They stood patiently in the grounds of a mosque as a government officer wrote down their names and addresses.

A couple of years ago, I was flipping through one of those glossy society magazines and I saw a designer handbag that cost RM90,000. Would I have asked my husband to buy it for me? No, because the sight of those flood victims standing in line to receive just RM500 makes such a purchase sinful. How many families would the cost of that handbag help feed? Thinking about this, I would like to understand more about taqwa, and what it truly means. I don’t need to know about wealth because I already live a privileged life.

For Malaysians, the London riots should not be seen as something that would never happen here or that we do not have young people who are frustrated by life’s unfairness. We should instead realise what we should do because it is our responsibility towards the young people of this country. They deserve a chance at a better life. And they shouldn’t have to be part of a riot for us to realise that.

The writer is Chancellor of UTM; Royal Fellow, School of Language Studies and Linguistics, UKM; Royal Adviser of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford.

Maka rasanya dari kisah inilah DS IR Nizar Jamalaudin terfikir untuk menulis dalam tweetnya dalam isu no plet WWW 1. 


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