Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Have A Meaningful Deepavali - Friday in The STAR

“How is history taught? Is it taught as a living background to contemporary things as a clue to contemporary evolution…”
- Sarojini Naidu 1879-1949

Back to basics: Let’s agree on our history 

We have been a nation for more than 50 years. Yet we have not agreed on our history. We are like the six blind men and the elephant. Each one sees history narrowly instead of seeing it as a whole.

To move forward we need to agree on our history. We need to accept certain fundamentals and understand how we have evolved to be who we are today.

We need to look at history from a larger perspective and use wisdom to accept our history whether it suits our liking or not. We have to look at the facts. We need to form a history with truth as a guide. To do that, we need to ponder these questions.

When and where does our history start?

What is the importance of the Proto-Malays to our history?

How have the early Hindu and Buddhist influences affected our history?

What are the significances of Old Kedah Sultanate and the evolution of all the other Malay sultanates?

What is the role of Islam in shaping the Malay sultanates, culture, and traditions?

How did the Portuguese, Dutch, British, and Japanese colonisation affect us; especially the British era leading up to the formation of our modern nation?

What about the history of Sabah and Sarawak? How do they form a part of our current history?

Where do we place the history of ordinary folks, every community; be they the majority or the minorities?

Why did 1957 and 1963 happen? What is the meaning of 1957 and 1963? How do 1957 and 1963 colour our recent history?

What does our Constitution say about our historical framework? How does our Constitution capture our history and make it into a social contract for us to create new history?

We are who we are today because of our shared history. To live in peace and progress, we need to agree on a shared history and understand it. Only then we can create a better and united future.

As we reflect on history, we are still creating it. In creating history, we must decide what we want for our children and our children’s children. Our decision today will create our tomorrow. Let us be wise.

At zubedy, our programs draw strength from shared values and traditions. We believe that at heart, all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.

Let us be first and foremost Malaysians.

Let us add value,

Have A Meaningful Deepavali.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Focus on the economy BY Wong Chun Wai - The STAR

At annual political party gatherings, we hardly ever hear any rational or clever discussion on the economy and on how we as a country should move forward in a global competitive environment.
IT always troubles me – and I am sure many Malaysians feel the same too – when politicians, especially those belonging to parties involved in the governance of the country, cannot go beyond talking politics.
If you follow the proceedings of the annual general meetings of our political parties, you will find that the state of the country’s economy is hardly given any priority.
Speakers at such meetings, sometimes called general assemblies, prefer to stick to political issues. They play to the gallery and engage in attention-grabbing rhetoric so that they can be guaranteed media space to reach a far bigger audience beyond the meeting hall.
We have seen them all. From apple polishing their leaders to making outrageous demands, some think they can play the jester but what they think is funny can be hurtful at times.
Sure, time is allocated for debate on the economy but more often than not, the speakers cannot see the big picture. Instead, it is always about how the various communities should share the pie, or who should get the lucrative contracts and projects.
The Opposition, on the other hand, seems to criticise for the sake of it, without providing a viable, alternative Budget. At their annual general meetings, the economy is also low on the agenda.
And yet, in a most ironic way, the Budget speech gets extensive coverage and is probably the most analysed event of the year.
At the annual political party gatherings, we hardly ever hear any rational or clever discussion on the economy and on how we as a country should move forward in a global competitive environment.
But the reality now is that the cake is shrinking. There is really no point talking about how we should split the cake if we cannot even bake it well.
And so we spend time quarrelling over issues that do not contribute to productivity nor help to strengthen the country’s race relations.
Our politicians are known for their foot-in-the-mouth syndrome and we have become notorious for making announcements first before studying their ramifications.
Be it a policy or a law, the tendency is for our leaders to announce it first, wait for the reaction and, if negative, review, back track or simply scrap it. Not only is the damage already done, we also give the world the impression that we do not give enough thought to all these serious matters.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why I feel Malaysian Christians do not trust the Bible ...

Biblical rules of engagement.

Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. - 2 Timothy 2:23-26

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[a] either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. - Luke 6:27-36

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[a] let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers,[b] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. - Matthew 5:38-48

Note – To know why I feel the Muslims in Malaysia do not trust the Quran, go here

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Allah Controversy: A Ten Point Solution by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

The Controversy over Kalimah Allah should never have gone to Court. An adversarial system of adjudication which pits one side against the other cannot resolve satisfactorily complex disputes that intersect notions of religious and ethnic identity.

In fact, the controversy which has burdened us for almost three decades is more about protecting identity than about preserving the sanctity of a hallowed term. It is fear about how identity would be undermined if what is perceived as an exclusive religious symbol is usurped by others that has triggered a strong reaction from the Muslim majority. Christians and others who have taken a position against Muslim sentiment are also motivated to a great extent by the prevailing ethnic divide in the country.

Expectedly, the stances adopted by some politicians, both Muslim and non-Muslim, have exacerbated the situation. Because issues of identity are at the centre of politics and power in our multi-religious, multi-ethnic nation, they are hoping to reap a harvest from the Kalimah Allah controversy. In the process, society is becoming even more polarised along religious lines.

This is why politicians and religious leaders should desist immediately from misconstruing the Court of Appeal decision on the use of Kalimah Allah in the Catholic weekly, The Herald, which has no bearing upon other Christian publications or the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible.  It is wrong of them to demand that the ban on the term in the Catholic weekly be extended to Sabah and Sarawak where it has been used in daily prayers in churches for more than a hundred years. Since the Catholic Church is appealing against the decision in the Federal Court, all individuals and groups should allow the judicial process to take its course.

More important, Prime Minister, Dato Sri Mohd Najib should assure everyone that he is determined to uphold the letter and the spirit of the ‘10 point solution’ that he had signed on 11 April 2011 in which he spelt out his commitment to the exercise of the freedom of religion of the Christian minority within the context of the Malaysian Constitution. It is a significant document in the shape of a letter to the Chairperson of the Christian Federation of Malaysia because it provides guarantees to a minority that resonate with the tradition of Muslim Rulers protecting the position of Christian and other minorities that harkens back to the Prophet Muhammad’s (may peace be upon him) celebrated treaty with the Christians of Najran. Christians in Malaysia should at the same time see the 10 point solution as an arrangement which expects them also to understand and empathise with the feelings of an extraordinarily accommodative majority community which has genuine concerns about its identity. For these reasons, highlighting the 10 point solution at this juncture would help considerably to reduce the prevailing mistrust and suspicion between the majority and minority communities.

In the ultimate analysis however what really matters is not who uses the term Allah but whether all of us are willing to strive to the utmost to perform those good deeds which alone demonstrate our love for Allah.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Another annual admonition by Prof Shad Saleem Faruqi - The STAR

The armoury of the law is adequate for the task only if we employ the weapons available.
THE Auditor-General’s 2012 Report is conscientious, commendable and courageous. It contains the usual number of shocking findings of extravagance, financial negligence, corruption and dereliction of duty.
It is no consolation that politicians and bureaucrats around the world, including Europe and the United States, resort to similar malfeasance and breach of trust. The difference is that if they are caught, they are punished.
We, on the other hand, tend to be forgiving. Panels and committees are routinely appointed to investigate the Auditor-General’s annual admonitions. However, penal and administrative measures to punish the wrongdoers and remedy the wrongs are rare.
Plethora of laws: This is not because the law is lacking. The legal system contains enough institutions, laws and procedures to enforce financial prudence and to punish corruption and waste. The problem is poor enforcement of the rules. The laws are as good as the people who administer them. In relation to financial prudence, the following constitutional and legal institutions already exist in our legal system:
> The Federal Constitution establishes the office of the Auditor-General under Article 105.
> In addition to this constitutional Article, there are provisions on financial accountability in the Audit Act 1957 and the Local Government Act 1976.
> The Dewan Rakyat has a Public Accounts Committee on which the Auditor-General sits as an ex-officio member.
> The Statutory Bodies (Discipline & Surcharge) Act 2000 [Act 605] permits imposition of a “surcharge” on financially irresponsible employees of statutory bodies. A similar law exists for government servants.
> Act 605 permits errant public servants to be subjected to disciplinary proceedings, to be retired compulsorily, or be terminated in the public interest. Similar provisions apply to public servants.
> The Anti-Corruption Act 1997 arms the anti-corruption agency with extensive powers to investigate any corrupt practice or abuse of power.
> The Whistleblowers Protection Act 2010 gives some anonymity and protection to those who alert their superiors on wrongdoing in public office.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Many Colors, One Race: 10 Nice Things You Can Tell Your Children About Other Races

Note: We are launching this book on Friday Oct. 25 , 3 pm at Zubedy. If interested, pls contact Hidayah at Below is the foreword/introduction segment of the book.


A man kills a deer and takes it home to cook it for dinner. Both him and his wife decide that they won't tell the kids what kind of meat it is, but will give them a clue and let them guess. The kids are eager to know what that meat on their plates is, so they beg their father for a clue. The father says, "Well, it's what mummy calls me sometimes.” The little girl yells to her brother, "Don't eat it! It’s a MONKEY!

As parents and adults, what we do and say is imitated by the young. What we say to our children and what we speak among ourselves will be transferred to our children. Sometimes we adults, without even realizing and or having the slightest intent to be malicious, say things about other races that may not be in good light.  Already our children are separated by the schools they go to, the places they live in, as well as the places they play at. Because of this they do not have many chances to get to know and engage with each other.

When I was young, I got to engage with a lot of people from different backgrounds, hence this book is mostly based on my own experiences with the Malays, Chinese, Indians, and Eurasians. My business and travels have taken me across Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak thus widening my circle of friends to include native Sabahans and Sarawakians. I have chosen to write about the Kadazans and the Ibans as they are the biggest native groups from Sabah and Sarawak respectively. However, I have had some help from friends and did some research when writing about the Ibans, Kadazans, and Orang Aslis as I did not personally spend enough time with them to really get to know them better. But the idea is, when you grow up among other races you get to learn about their good aspects as well as the bad. And my experiences have shown that the good always outweighs the bad.   

By writing this small and easy book, it is my hope that parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and caregivers will buy and read this book with their children. As children enjoy being read to, it is critical that we acquaint them with the best of other races. From there on we can introduce nice things about others to our children.
The best way to read this book with your children is to combine the old and the new. Read this book with your computers or tablets at hand so you can Google for more information, pictures, and/or videos whenever you come across a reference you need to explain to your children. For example, when you read the story about Indians in page 55, you will come across ‘Kolattam’, a popular Indian dance. You can find videos of Kolattam dances on the Youtube and you can watch them together with your children.

I would like to apologise for some generalisations which you will come across in this book that are unavoidable. For instance, when I say the Chinese is hard working, I am not saying the opposite about the others and when I say the Malays are nice, I am not saying others are not. It is just that I see a certain cultural pattern emerging from the different races where we can see that some seem to have more of these qualities than others. This book is also a chance to share with your children that many of us have shared values which are alike.

When you read through the pages, you will see that this book actually talks about one’s ethnicity instead of race. The two are similar in many ways yet distinct to one another. When we talk about one’s ethnicity, we talk about their cultural behaviours, traditions, and practices. Ethnicity is usually shaped by someone’s race but it is not solely dependent on it. Ethnicity can be changed through one’s life choices, beliefs, and experiences. On the other hand, race indicates our biological ancestry. It is inherited in our blood. As this book is to be read by parents and children together, I have decided to use the term ‘race’ to include all dimensions of race and ethnicity because ‘race’ is a simpler word which all of us can understand.

This book has been organised in such a way that every narrative is followed by some reflection about each race. I have included blank pages after each reflection. These blank pages are intended for you and your children to spend time together discussing additional nice things to say about other races based on their experiences with their friends both in school and at home. I have also arranged the book content in an alphabetical order, so it will start with the Chinese, the Eurasians, the Ibans, the Indians, the Kadazans, the Malays, and it ends with the Orang Aslis.  This is because I want to stress that there is no one race superior than the other.

I want to thank everyone who has had a part in writing this book. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Hidayah Mazlan who helped me with the narrative section of each race, Nur Intan Dayana who worked on the design and illustrations in the book, and Nur Syuhada Zakaria who worked on the front and back covers. I would also like to thank Beelie Kong who worked with me in coming up with the Many Colors One Race logo and M Prakash Dass for editing the book.

Let’s be responsible towards the next generation. Let’s start with ourselves to make things better. Let’s make our children love each other better. We want them to be friends, not foes.  

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings. (Buddhism. The Tripitika)

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity (Christianity. Psalms 133:1)

All within the four seas are brothers (Confucianism. Analects. Chapter 12)
Let your aims be common, and your hearts of one accord, and all of you be of one mind, so you may live well together. (Hinduism. Rig Veda 10.191.2-4)

And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know (Islam. Quran 30:22)

many colors one race,

anas zubedy.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Item 13.1 - Zubedy's Sales Hand Book - Code of Conduct for Sales & Servicing

13      Code of Conduct for Sales & Servicing
1)     When representing Zubedy for sales and servicing activities, all Sales Personnel must abide by the following Code of Conduct.  The rules and regulations are as follows:
a)     No bribery
b)    No begging
c)     No hard selling
d)    No under counter (those that does under counter will be terminated immediately)
e)     Sells on equal terms with all prospects and clients
f)     All other rules and regulations as listed in the Employee Handbook