Sunday, June 28, 2015

Integrity is in his blood BY Shaila Koshy - The STAR

Dr Anis: ‘We need to repeat the message. The power of one is very strong. Sooner or later, change will come’
Dr Anis: ‘We need to repeat the message. The power of one is very strong. Sooner or later, change will come’
In advocating the right ethics, Dr Anis Yusal Yusoff, who took office as the Institute of Integrity Malaysia president early this month, is not just walking the talk, he is also walking tall.
“I BELIEVE in the cause,” says Dr Anis Yusal Yusoff.
“I grew up watching my father. Once he took us out for makan to Tanjung Bungah in the 1970s and only realised on our way home to Kampung Makam that he hadn’t paid at one stall. He drove back 20km to pay maybe 30 sen.
“He told us, ‘I forgot. But we ate, so we have to pay’.”
Then there were times when gifts were delivered to our home during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and an inquisition would follow.
“My sisters and I would be so happy when we got chocolates but my father would ask who had brought them and tell us to return them if they came from traders. He would say, ‘If they are genuine, let’s see if they still bring gifts after I’ve retired’.”
Dr Anis’ father was chief health and petty traders inspector in the then Penang Municipal Council.
“It was a very powerful position and he did not want to be used,” says Dr Anis, 48, in an exclusive interview with The Star.
“My father didn’t lecture us but showed us by example,” recounts the former Francis Light Primary School pupil.
He was such a good student that Dr Anis made his wife return an expensive gift one time – a prayer mat from overseas.
On June 1, he took over as president of the Institute of Integrity Malaysia (IIM). But even before that he was at the office, off Jalan Tunku Halim in Kuala Lumpur.
“Marking my territory,” he says with a chuckle, slipping into the military jargon from his time at Royal Military College, Sungei Besi.
The six-footer wanted to get to know the IIM family and vice-versa: “I have two years to deliver.”
For starters, IIM is going to make greater use of its building with the following activities:
WEEK 1: Breakfast talk
WEEK 2: Roundtable dialogue – smaller group and topical matters – for example, the impact of GST and how consumers are taken for a ride
WEEK 3: Discussions with university researchers, prioritise the issues to be studied and form the research questions.
WEEK 4: Art Night!
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed spoke at the first breakfast talk on June 4.
Dr Anis says the talks and dialogues would identify problems, to then be analysed deeper for policy recommendations.
For the Art Night Dr Anis is thinking of engaging stand-up comedians like Harith Iskandar and Afdlin Shauki, “to make fun of ourselves on integrity”.
“Jokes, even radio DJs, can create awareness. We can show films. IIM will be a meeting point.”
And not to be KL-centric, they are scoping state integrity bodies to collaborate on holding projects there, says Dr Anis who also has dreams of creating a studio at IIM.
Dr Anis’ appointment by the Prime Minister has drawn varied responses.
When some people familiar with Government appointments heard of my interview, they asked which department he had retired from!
Whereas some in government were wondering where this “young fellow” came from.
Dr Anis has over 20 years experience in international level policy formulation especially on human development and governance. He was UNDP’s Assistant Resident Representative in Malaysia and served at the UN Volunteers Headquarters in Bonn, Germany, as a Specialist.
He has also served on a number of national advisory councils in recent years relating to corruption, consumerism and national unity and integrity. He is a Commissioner in the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission.
Prior to this appointment, he was Principal Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and was responsible for developing KITA-MESRA, an early warning system to manage potential ethnic tension and conflict. Before KITA, he had already served in IIM as the founding Director of the Political Sector from 2005-2008.
What are his aspirations?
Dr Anis wants research to go beyond perception.
“If people read three articles about corruption, their perception of the level of corruption then would be that it is bad. If they had not read any such articles, they might not have any views about it.”
It’s his experience that perception data is only useful as a guide.
He says reports of snatch thefts may be down because of non-reporting since victims don’t expect to get their valuables back or the thief to be caught.
“But if that’s referenced with bank and Registration department statistics on applications for replacement ATM cards and MyKad, you’d have a more accurate picture.”
In KITA’s ethnic relations survey, they didn’t ask “what do you think about the level of ethnic relations in Malaysia?”
“Instead we asked ‘when was the last time you had a meal with a friend of a different race?’, ‘When did you last visit a friend of a different race?’ and ‘In the past year, how many times did you receive visits from a friend of a different race?”
“As a think-tank on integrity, we are organising (breakfast) talks so we can bring selected thinkers together and have experts come and give us their thoughts. We hope the writers we invite will capture the issues in depth and write on them for the public.”
In his talk, Abu Kassim asked the rakyat to take ownership for their own behaviour.
“Do you think you are friends with those from other religions because of programmes by the National Unity Department?” he asked the audience.
He had a pertinent question on corrupt people – ‘is it orang bodoh or buat bodoh?’ How do you eradicate the practice of accepting gifts when those who buat bodoh say ‘but it’s Malaysian culture!’ or ‘it’s just food lah’?
“Many companies have a no-gift policy. I’m sure during Ramadan, boxes of dates will sent to many offices, even yours,” says Dr Anis.
“You have to say no because the gifts will keep getting more expensive, like top of the range smart phones. If you’re a journalist you could feel so indebted from having accepted gifts/food you would think twice, three times before you do a story unfavourable to that person or company.”
So should the Government preach about integrity when it doesn’t take up recommendations to improve itself?
Dr Anis, who has seen the Government accept and ignore recommendations, says it’s a catch-up game for them.
He points out that consumer and environmental groups were already active before we had ministers for the two areas.
“I was part of the group in UN that helped Malaysia set up Suhakam but Aliran and Hakam were talking human rights long before that. As for integrity and governance, groups like TI-M (Transparency International-Malaysia) which I helped set up were talking about it first. Only now is there a minister.
In 1995, he says not many in Government knew what governance meant. “But today, governance is the word of the day,” he laughs.
“Similarly with integrity. We need to repeat the message. The power of one is very strong. Sooner or later, change will come.”
C.S. Lewis said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
With a ghost of a smile on his face, Dr Anis says this would be good to see in the long run: “Audit yourself. You must be accountable – if you play truant, take long lunches, sleep in the surau – tell your boss you’d like to return some of your salary.”
For the “shorter” long term, he says the way to move forward is to amend laws that give people the opportunity to breach the law.

We do not make any distinctions

Islam's history did not start in the Arab land. Islam is a world religion. Prophet Muhammad is the seal of the Prophets. Many named and unnamed ones came before him. Who were those from India, China, Americas, Central Asia, Antartica, Africa etc etc? We are told not to make any distinctions between them. Peace.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

He is near :)

In Islam, while we have pilgrimage, we do not need to take even a step to be closer to God. No traveling or cost involved. The liberalization and democratization of the relationship between man and God. We also do not need intermediaries. This verse is a radical change from the past . Salam.

Independent thought in Islam by Prof Shad Saleem Faruqi - The STAR

A ROUNDTABLE discussion on “Religion and Human Rights” was organised by the Islamic Renaissance Front on June 14. Regrettably, most media reports ignored the main speeches and sensationalised some questions and answers in such a way that it appeared to be an exercise in religious authority bashing.
In fact, it was a thought-provoking deliberation on many themes, one prominent one being whether Islam permits independent thought, reason and reflection.
Religion and reason: On this issue, Surah 20:114 of the Holy Quran must be noted. “O my Lord, advance me in knowledge”. The very first revelation to Prophet Muhammad reads: “Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the most generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not.” (96:1-5).
Many sayings of Prophet Muhammad supplement the Quran’s command to advance knowledge. “Seek knowledge even though it be in China.” “The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” “God has revealed to me, that the best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge.”
For the first four centuries of Islam, reason was employed to understand revelation. Innovation through ijtihad (independent reasoning) flourished in all areas where the felt necessities of the times required a solution which could not be found explicitly in the syariah.
Prophet Muhammad approved the exercise of reason to fill the gaps not filled by the Quran or the hadith (his sayings).
Prof James Piscatori of Durham University was of the opinion that rationalism is part of Islam.
Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa pointed out that the Mutazilite school of thought (8th to 10th century) espoused reason and rational thought.
Muslim jurists used many accepted doctrines like maqasid syariah (objective of the law) to interpret religious theory in such a way as to minimise contradictions with human rights norms.
In the area of science, David Batchelor points out there are approximately 750 verses in the Holy Quran on natural phenomena. For example, Surah 32:8-9 describes the development of the human foetus in the womb.
Many people will find it difficult to believe that eminent scholars and ground-breaking scientists flourished in Islamic civilisation from the 8th to the 13th century. Libraries flourished in Baghdad and Cordoba.
Arabic was the lingua franca of science and technology. By the 10th century, Muslim zeal for learning resulted in Greek medical and scientific writings being translated into Arabic.
In turn, many Arabic texts were translated into Latin, but with the names of Islamic scholars “Latinised” to obscure their identity. Thus Ibnu Sina became Avicenna; al-Ghazali was changed to Algazel; Ibn Rushd to Averroes and al-Razi to Rhazes.
Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, in addressing an IT conference in Minnesota, spoke of the Islamic civilisation “whose multicultural armies enabled peace and prosperity; whose commerce extended from the Americas to China and who driven by invention, gave humanity the gifts of algebra and algorithms.
The society cured disease, carried out complicated surgical operations and laid the foundations for modern medicine and physiology. While most of the world was steeped in ignorance and fearful of ideas, this civilisation kept knowledge alive.”
Regression: Sadly, Muslims have now fallen into a deep abyss. With the closure of the gates of ijtihad by Sunni Muslim jurists after the first four centuries of Islam, the intellectual and political decline became evident.
Reason is shunned, not just by the fanatics but by the vast majority of Muslims. Narrowest and most regressive doctrines have an unassailable hold on Muslim minds.
Suppression of thought characterises Muslim societies.
Free thinkers like Ibn Rushd, Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, Ibn al-Rawandi, al-Biruni and Abdolkarim Soroush are victimised and their books banned.
Moderation, toleration and rationality are viewed with suspicion. Taqlid(unquestioning obedience) is the natural choice of most Muslims.
A religion that shunned a priestly hierarchy has ironically developed an autocratic ecclesiastical elite that brooks no dissent, suppresses diversity and interprets the sacred texts in the most literal way.
In mutual exchange for loyalty, the political masters, despite many misgivings, support the religious elite even when the latter issue edicts and undertake actions that are intolerant, divisive, unconstitutional and according to Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, even contrary to moderate interpretations of the religion.
Reconstruction: What can be done to recapture the spirit of inquiry that animated the early years of Islam and to revive the wonder that was early Islam? There is no dearth of books. Mohammad Iqbal’s The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam is an example.
The gates of ijtihad must be pried open. Reason must be employed to interpret revelations.
A purely literal, textual and strict constructionist approach must give way to a purposive and contextual interpretation.
In a spirit of inclusiveness, Islamic jurists of all persuasions must be consulted to find new solutions to problems like terrorism and abuse of women that afflict many Muslim societies.
A distinction must be made between syariah (the revealed law) and fiqh (juristic opinions). The former is divine and eternal but subject to flawed human interpretations. The latter is man-made and amenable to change.
The traditional Islamic curriculum, unchanged for centuries, is devoted exclusively to the works of approved imams and scholars.
It should be modified to reflect the rich intellectual diversity that exists in Islam.
Finally, religions are not only about worship, atonement and personal salvation. They are also about service to humanity.
Many Muslim societies suffer from poverty and deprivation.
Even in the more affluent ones, there are pockets of suffering where the rays of justice do not reach.
All Muslim must therefore imbibe the spirit of Surah Al-Baqara: 177 where it is stated that piety is not manifested just by turning our faces to the East or West. Piety is to give of our wealth to our kin, orphans, poor, wayfarers and to those who ask. Piety is to pay zakat, to set slaves free and to observe our obligations.
It is in such service to humanity that true righteousness and obedience to Allah is manifested.

Love between 2 is part of His Signs and Mercy :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Creator :)

The English Medium School--- A Panacea? by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

While the desire to improve the standard of English in the school system is commendable, some of the arguments made on behalf of the language in the media recently are deeply flawed. I shall focus briefly on three of them. 

Some of the champions of an English medium school system have given the impression that such a school system is a panacea for all our ills. It is because of its English medium school system--- they opine --- that Singapore has made such remarkable progress. It is true that within the prevailing global capitalist order, Singapore has done well in terms of its ability to ensure a degree of economic prosperity for a significant segment of its population. This is due largely to its competent, dedicated political leadership, its effective implementation of public policies, its determination to curb corruption and its willingness to recognize and reward ability and excellence. The English medium school would be a minor factor in this accomplishment. 

To appreciate this, one has to look at another ASEAN state which uses English widely within and without its education system. For decades the Philippines has been burdened with abject poverty, huge social disparities, and widespread corruption. Even in our case, it is problems such as the increasing gap between the ‘have-a-lot’ and the ‘have-a-little’ and corruption that we should be focusing upon.  

It has also been argued that English medium education is vital for the mastery of science and technology. If we look at the list of nations that has developed a strong scientific foundation since the Second World War, the majority have done so through languages other than English. This would include countries such as China, South Korea and Cuba. Substantive investments in Research and Development (R&D), active promotion of patents, sustained support for academic research and the production of academic papers and continuous emphasis upon the creation of doctoral graduates in mathematics, science and engineering explain their success. Malaysia lags behind in all these spheres of scientific activity.   

There is a third fallacy associated with the English medium school. It is said that such schools promoted national unity in the past. As I pointed out in an article dated May 27 2013, since a number of urban and semi-urban schools in the sixties had students from different ethnic backgrounds, there was some interaction across ethnic boundaries. Unfortunately, these schools became less and less multi-ethnic from the seventies onwards as more and more Chinese parents chose to send their children to Chinese medium primary schools. A negative attitude towards education in Bahasa Malaysia, declining standards in national schools from the late eighties and the transformation of many of these schools into preponderantly Malay- Muslim entities that have emphasized Islamic rituals since the nineties, would be among the  reasons why Chinese, and to a lesser extent, Indian Malaysians, have abandoned Bahasa schools. It is because the schools both in terms of students and teachers have become mono- ethnic --- and not because of the language medium --- that they are no longer capable of promoting inter-ethnic interaction. 

In fact, Malay as a language has a superb record of facilitating inter-ethnic interaction and integration reflected in its role in bringing diverse ethnic and sub-ethnic groups together in the entire Nusantara region over centuries. This is why it has been hailed by linguists as an outstanding example of a language of inter-ethnic communication. It was through the Malay language that small Chinese communities --- the Peranakan --- in pre-colonial Malaysia integrated into Malay society and even helped to shape Malay culture.  

This is why we should be cautious about drawing superficial conclusions about either Malay or English and national unity. Wouldn’t it be silly to suggest that English is a language of disunity simply because the principal actors in the three major inter-ethnic eruptions that occurred in the late fifties and sixties --- the MCA-UMNO crisis in 1959; the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965; and the May 13th Riot in 1969 --- were all English educated men, products of English medium schools?  It goes without saying that the real reasons for these eruptions were embedded in the socio-political environment of the time. 
It underscores the importance of examining the challenge of the declining standard of English from a much broader and deeper perspective. Our general level of performance and competence as a nation and how it impacts upon the school system and how shortcomings in the school system have influenced the teaching and learning of English need to be addressed with sincerity. The National Education Blueprint for Schools (2013 -2025) comes to grips with some of the issues. But more has to be done to produce a generation of Malaysians who can function effectively in both Malay and English.

A quick summary of Malaysia's economy by Y.B. Senator Dato' Sri Idris Jala

Open Letter To Bloomberg

When I read William Pesek’s latest commentary on Bloomberg View, I barely recognised the country he was writing about. He starts by referring to Malaysia’s “underlying economic distress” and “prolonged slow growth”, which he says are caused by “race-based policies that strangle innovation, feed cronyism and repel multinational companies.”

The facts, however, are these:

  1. Between 2009 and 2014, Malaysian Gross National Income grew by 47.7 percent.
  2. Growth last year was six percent, and over the next four years the OECD predicts Malaysia will enjoy annual growth of 5.6 percent. It would be perverse to characterise this as “slow”. By contrast, the Economist reported last month that “The European Commission is forecasting growth in 2015 of 1.5 percent, which would be the euro area's best outcome since 2011.” A growth rate nearly four times that of some of the most advanced economies in the world hardly suggests “distress”.
  3. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak launched Malaysia's 'Economic Transformation Programme' in 2010. Let me highlight some key achievements:
    • Firstly, in the last 5 years, annual investment growth has been 2.5 times more than in the preceding years. Each year, total investment reached a new record for Malaysia. The bulk of this investment is from the private sector. If the private sector has no confidence in Malaysia as alleged by Mr Pesek, why would they put in record investment year on year under the Najib administration?
    • Secondly, the country's fiscal reforms are being successfully implemented, cutting Malaysia's fiscal deficit for the past 5 years, while keeping public debt at only 53% of GDP. This level of public debt level is far lower than in many countries, such as the US, UK, France, Japan and Singapore.
    • Thirdly, as detailed in the World Bank's Global Economic Prospects report 2014, Malaysia’s efforts at reducing poverty have been a great success, virtually eliminating absolute poverty to less than 1 percent. Since 2009, the income of the bottom 40 per cent households has increased by a compound annual growth rate of 12 percent, even higher than the national average of 8 percent. Inflation has been kept in check at only 2.4 percent. And through the implementation of minimum wage legislation, we have lifted 2.9 million people immediately out of absolute poverty.
    • Fourthly, we touched the lives of 5 million people through rural roads, electricity and water projects. This represents possibly the biggest government expenditure over a 5 year period in the history of Malaysia. All of these were done in the name of inclusive economic development.

  4. That should be enough to dispel the suspiciously negative picture Mr Pesek paints. But let me address some of his other inaccurate accusations too.

    As for the alleged failure to “dismantle race-based policies that strangle innovation”, let me quote from a report in a respected international news organisation:

    “Malaysia eased rules governing overseas investors, initial public offerings and property purchases, peeling back decades of benefits to ethnic Malays. Foreign companies investing in Malaysia and locally listed businesses will no longer need to set aside 30 percent of their equity to so-called Bumiputera investors, Prime Minister Najib Razak said today. He also raised overseas ownership thresholds in the fund management industry and at local stockbrokers.” At Initial Public Offerings, “Publicly traded companies will no longer have to meet any Bumiputera equity requirement under today’s liberalisation measures.”

    If Mr Pesek disagrees with any of the above, perhaps he might discuss it with his editors. The report was published, after all, by none other than Bloomberg.
  5. At another point, he writes that Prime Minister Najib has “deepened the economy's reliance on oil and gas production”. The International Monetary Fund believes otherwise. The headline on its “Economic Health Check” report this March was: “Favorable Prospects for Malaysia’s Diversified Economy”.
  6. Mr Pesek rounds off his imaginative piece of writing by declaring that “the ringgit's fluctuations are a decent summary of the country's wayward course in recent years”.

    Perhaps he would like to discuss this with Malaysia’s Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, one of the most admired central bank governors in the world. She has repeatedly said that the ringgit is undervalued. Here is what she said recently: “When the oil price plummeted, the wrong perception of the degree of dependence of the Malaysian economy on the oil and gas sector led markets to think that we would be more affected than others. Of course the ringgit is undervalued. It doesn’t reflect our underlying values, which are solid and strong.”
  7. Mr Pesek’s opinions do not seem to have a strong connection to the facts. He gives away his true agenda when writes that “Asia-based journalists have missed Mahathir Mohamad since he left office in 2003” and suggests “a return to old political leadership” is “urgent”.

    It may be that nostalgia for the past and his distance from Malaysia have clouded his judgement, and led him to write an unsubstantiated hatchet job on the current prime minister in order to please a former prime minister about whom he gushes, his “mercurial governing style and fiery rhetoric made for great copy”.

    He certainly seems to have changed his mind about Tun Mahathir. Only last year he wrote: “The insular and jury-rigged system of affirmative action, national champions and fat subsidies over which Mahathir presided now holds the economy back. The Malaysian leader also had a tendency to embarrass his nation on the international stage with his nutty anti-Semitic tirades.”

    He concluded: “Malaysians must find fresh inspiration by looking forward, not back to 1990.” We agree. Why does Mr Pesek now think we should look back to a system he described in such a derogatory manner last year?
  8. Malaysia has undergone an impressive economic transformation under Prime Minister Najib and the country is on course to reach the goal of becoming a high income status nation by 2020 – as the figures and achievements I have mentioned above make clear.

    Because of our achievements, I was invited to share our experience at both Harvard and Oxford Universities this year. At the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, I had the privilege to share Malaysia's success story with government ministers from many countries. Last month, I was invited to share our experience with Russian cabinet ministers in Moscow.
  9. I wonder why it is that many countries and institutions can see the progress we are making, but Mr Pesek chooses not see any of it? His latest outburst is consistent with a series of slanted articles that unfairly run down Malaysia and its leadership.
  10. Differing opinions are bound to be expressed on Bloomberg View. The defence of “fair comment”, however, does not apply to getting facts so woefully wrong. We would hope that the editors at Bloomberg agree, and will correct or take down such a disgracefully biased and ill-informed article.

Y.B. Senator Dato' Sri Idris Jala
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and CEO of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU)

article was taken from PEMANDU website

click here for William Pesek Bloomberg View article

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A book on unity to inspire a song - The STAR

SUBANG: Not many hit songs are related to unity, but local singer Zainalabidin Mohamed and businessman Anas Zubedy hope to create one with the theme Pelbagai Warna, Satu Bangsa. (Many Colours, One Nation)
Launching a book titled Pelbagai Warna, Satu Bangsa, Zainalabidin said it should be owned by every Malaysian and would bring people together.
“I believe in the value this book carries and just as I use music to tell my love for nature (in his chart-topping number Hijau), I want to carry the spirit of this book through a melody,” said Zainalabidin.
He added that music was a strong medium to influence youth and hence his collaboration with Anas, the author of the book.
Unity’s song: Anas (standing, in yellow) and Zainalabidin (on Anas’ left) at the book launch of Many Colours, One Nation.
Unity’s song: Anas (standing, in yellow) and Zainalabidin (on Anas’ left) at the book launch of Many Colours, One Nation.
Anas said the book was meant to create moments of unity among Malaysians.
“The goal is to achieve unity in diversity. What we have today is social cohesion and creating moments of unity will help us achieve national unity faster,” said Anas, the managing director of Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd.
The Malay version was launched so more Malaysians could read and understand the book, according to Anas.
“We hope every Malaysian will will own this book and share the content with their family, and more Malaysians understand the Malay language,” said Anas.
In the book, there are blank pages for readers to write down thoughts which, according to Anas, would encourage people to remember their moments of unity with other races.
“For example, we ask readers to think of things we could share on the Chinese or other races in the book. This is to show more unity moments,” he explained.
The book, which includes the stories of the difference races in Malaysia such as Chinese, Malay, Indian, Serani, Iban, Kadazan and Orang Asli is sold at major bookstores nationwide.
The Malay version costs RM26.90 and English version RM27.90.

article was taken from The STAR

Buku pelbagai warna, satu bangsa medium penyatuan kaum - ASTRO Awani

Creating moments of unity - The STAR online

'Pelbagai Warna, Satu Bangsa' Buku Perpaduan Si Kecil Yang Menyentuh Hati by Izra Abdul Rahman - The STAR

Sebahagian pelajar Sri Kuala Lumpur International School yang terlibat dalam persembahan kebudayaan bergambar kenangan selepas buku perpaduan, Pelbagai Warna, Satu Bangsa' dilancarkan di sekolah mereka, baru-baru ini.
  (Ubah saiz teks)
"KEPELBAGAIAN kaum adalah kekuatan dan keunikan sebenar Malaysia tetapi ia tidak digunakan sepenuhnya.

"Negara tidak dapat selamanya menjual minyak, tetapi kita boleh mengekalkan kemantapan dan keunikan perpaduan ini sebagai kekuatan negara," demikian ucap penulis buku perpaduan, Anas Zubedy.

Bertitik-tolak dari situlah beliau memainkan peranannya dengan menghasilkan buku berjudul 'Pelbagai Warna, Satu Bangsa'.
Peranan penulis dan buku ini mungkin nampak kecil, tetapi sebenarnya mampu memberi perubahan besar dalam landskap perpaduan di Malaysia.

Melihat kulit luarnya yang ceria, ia nampak seperti sebuah buku santai, sesuai buat kanak-kanak yang bakal meneruskan kesinambungan perpaduan di Malaysia.

Namun, bagi orang dewasa yang membacanya, buku ringkas ini tidak mustahil bakal menjadi sebuah karya yang cukup menyentuh hati dan sanubari.

Menerusi buku ini, Anas Zubedy berkongsi inspirasinya dengan menceritakan keindahan Malaysia yang terdiri daripada pelbagai kaum, agama, bahasa dan budaya yang tidak wujud di negara lain dengan gaya paling santai.

Pengalamannya membesar di Pulau Pinang, dikelilingi masyarakat pelbagai kaum , pengembaraan ke seluruh dunia dan kisah rakan-rakan pelbagai etnik di luar semenanjung membantu beliau dalam menyiapkan naskhah ini.
Anas Zubedy

"Saya melihat sendiri kisah benar di mana ibu bapa kaum Cina sanggup menjual rumah untuk membiayai pelajaran anak-anak mereka.
"Ia satu perkara yang boleh dipelajari, setiap kaum mempunyai kekuatan. Hadis ada menyatakan bahawa 'menuntut ilmu biar sampai ke negara China', tetapi kita tak perlu ke China kerana kaum Cina adalah jiran-jiran kita," katanya yang meletakkan kekuatan itu di bawah tajuk '10 perkara baik yang boleh kita kongsikan kepada anak-anak kita mengenai kaum Cina Malaysia' di dalam buku ini.
Dalam menyatakan tahap dan perihal perpaduan di Malaysia, beliau berpandangan apa yang wujud di Malaysia sekarang adalah kesepaduan di mana turut tercetus detik-detik perpaduan dan perpecahan di dalamnya.
"Jika kita cintakan Malaysia, kita harus menjadi ejen yang mewujudkan lebih banyak momen perpaduan supaya lebih banyak detik atau suara perpecahan dapat 'didiamkan'.
"Berbanding mengkritik atau berfikir tentangnya (suara perpecahan) lebih baik kita mencipta banyak detik perpaduan dan diharapkan peranan kecil ini mampu memantapkan perpaduan di negara ini," katanya selepas buku ini dilancarkan.
Majlis pelancaran disempurnakan penyanyi Zainal Abidin, di Sri Kuala Lumpur International School.
Dari kiri, Anas Zubedy, Zainal Abidin dan Ketua Pengarah Eksekutif Sri Kuala Lumpur International School Hanef Merican ketika majlis pelancaran buku Pelbagai Warna, Satu Bangsa.
'Pelbagai Warna, Satu Bangsa' diterjemahkan selepas karya asalnya yang berbahasa Inggeris berjudul Many Colors, One Race yang diterbitkan pada 2013 mendapat sambutan agak baik.

Malah, Anas Zubedy yang merupakan pengarah urusan di zubedy (m) Sdn Bhd juga sedang merancang untuk berkolaborasi dengan Zainal Abidin bagi menghasilkan sebuah lagu bertemakan perpaduan yang dapat disemadikan di hati rakyat.

Beliau yang percaya bahawa pendidikan kanak-kanak bermula dari rumah turut yakin bahawa muzik dapat dijadikan sebagai medium perpaduan yang memberi kesan kepada generasi muda.

Katanya, beliau juga berhasrat untuk menjadikan buku ini sebagai bahan pembelajaran di sekolah-sekolah di seluruh Malaysia dan akan berusaha ke arah itu.

Buku ini boleh didapati di kedai buku MPH dan kedai-kedai buku terpilih dengan harga RM26.90 (bahasa Melayu) dan RM27.90 (bahasa Inggeris)

Anas Zubedy launches book on unity by Song Boon Mun - The SUN Daily

SUBANG JAYA: A group of students joined Anas Zubedy at the launch of his newest unity themed book to introduce and promote the cultures of the nation's various races here today.

Anas, the managing director of Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd, was at Sri Kuala Lumpur International School for the event with popular singer Zainalabidin.
"As parents and adults, what we do and say is imitated and transferred to our children. Sometimes, we, without even realising or having the slightest intent to be malicious, say things about other races that may not be in good light.
"This book is for parents and their children as we strongly feel that education starts at home. In this book, parents and their children can write their 'nice list' about other races," he told reporters.
The book, titled Pelbagai Warna, Satu Bangsa, is the Bahasa Malaysia version of his English book, Many Colors, One Race, which was published in 2013.
Like the English version, the book is a collection of stories of different races in Malaysia namely the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, Ibans, Kadazans and Orang Asli.
Zainalabidin said that the concept behind the book is a commendable effort in bringing Malaysians together and hoped to see more such efforts.
"We are coming up with a new song to recognise the ethnics in Malaysia as music is a platform to create unity between all races. The released date has yet to be confirmed," he added.
On Aug 25, Anas will launch a "Say Something Nice" programme at Inti College, Subang Jaya.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The first word given to Prophet Muhammad is 'Read' Quran 96:1 :)

God is close to All of us :)

According to the Quran, God is very close to ALL of us (refer verse in picture below).

He is with us all the time, the rich, the poor, the good looking the not so good looking - The concept of The Merciful God.

We do not need to travel far, spend a single sen to get to him. He is in every home we reside in and every country we chose to be a citizen to.

That is why, in achieving Taqwa ( Piety/God-Consciousness) , pilgrimage or Haj is not listed in 2 :177. When we have money we are asked to "give wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; ".

I am not surprised that Haj is not mandatory(unless u can afford it) to Muslims. God is Merciful.