Wednesday, September 24, 2008


"Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) because his articles ridiculed Islam, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar." - The Star report.

There have been a lot of discussions on the relevance of ISA to our country's well being. Of course, a lot of the so-called concerned citizens have been vehemently against the ISA and they have articulated their views vociferously. There have also been justifications from those in power about the need to retain the Act. In this instance I'm not trying to support one view or the other but I'm trying to understand how the Act in its current form is being applied.

From my limited understanding, the Act was enacted by the British to counter the threat of the communists and terrorists. Given the real problems faced at that point in time, my feeling was that even the so-called concerned citizens of the day grudgingly concur with the decision then. I think, initially, that was how the Act was used. As time goes by, the government of the day find the Act a convenient tool to silence its critics. However, they still have the "decency" of adhering to the spirit of the Act. That is why when they decided to detain the two Dollahs and Pak Samad in the 70's they made sure these people are first labeled communists or their sympathizers.

Later on, such as in the Ops Lallang, the need to restrict the use of the Act on communists seemed to have been done away with. Now, any "threat to the country's well being" can justify one to be detained under the Act. That is why, now, we have document forgers and believers of deviant sects of Islam under ISA detention. With RPK in, we now have another ISAble offence i.e. ridiculing Islam.

I'm no lawyer. Neither am I an expert in Islam. I'm just a Muslim trying to practice the religion to the best of my ability but I have many unanswered questions.
  1. Who gives this Minister the authority to decide that someone or something ridicules Islam?
  2. What are the standards being used to say that a statement or an act ridicules Islam?
  3. Has he got a religious qualification? Has he gone to study Islam in Al-Azhar or Medinah or even Malaya university? Has he even gone to a pondok?
  4. I thought all religious matters should be referred to the proper religious authorities who are answerable to the Kings and Agong. How come in this case, somebody without religious authority is taking decisions to protect Islam?
It is my sincere believe that if someone has indeed ridicule Islam, our religious authorities have more than enough qualified people and laws to defend the religion in an open, factual and intellectual manner. Meet up with the person and point out his mistakes. If he disagrees, engage him in a debate. If he is still persistent, charge him in court. Don't tell me we are not confident in our own capabilities that we have to detain people without giving them a chance to defend themselves. Just lock them up and shut them up using an Act that is against the true teachings of Islam. How ironic can that be?

It is my opinion that the act of using ISA on RPK is in itself ridiculing Islam. We are giving a message that Islam is so shallow that we have to resort to detaining people who ridicule it without trial. To make it worse, Islam itself requires that those who are deemed to have commit a crime must be charge in an open court.

Before I end, I must state in no uncertain terms this writing in no way proves that I am in total agreement with what has been written by RPK. In many instances I feel that RPK purposely put himself in grey areas of the law. I would not like to speculate on his motives for taking such a stand but that should not preclude him from being accorded the right of defense.

I would also like to point out that all these are happening in the Blessed month of Ramadhan. So to those who are hiding behind the veil of religion, I hope you take this into consideration and seek God's guidance in your actions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

16 Sept came and went

Its 16 September and nothing substantial happened. Just more rhetoric thus continued uncertainty. I'm fed up. Nobody seemed to be working. Everyone are preoccupied with this supposed change that was supposed to take place.

My take is, let's give everybody a few more days. If nothing happens can we just continue with our lives and wait for the next opportunity? As for those that are supposed to govern, for heaven's sake, could you just do what is expected of you?

Come to think of it, who promised something will happen on 16 Sept 2008? The promise was something will happen on 16 Sept., what year only God knows. But I know a lot of people are disappointed.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lawak Bodoh

Kerajaan Malaysia menangkap 3 rakyatnya dibawah undang-undang ISA hujung minggu yang baaru lepas. Yang pertama ditangkap ialah Raja Petra, pemilik (kalau betul) website Malaysia Today. Yang kedua, wartawan Sin Chew dan ketiga YB Teresa Kok, ahli Parlimen dan juga ADUN Selangor.

Raja Petra ditangkap kononnya kerana menghina Islam dalam tulisan di blognya. Sebelum ini beliau telah disaman oleh beberapa orang termasuk kerajaan kerana tulisan-tulisan beliau yang agak kontreversial. Beliau juga pernah di tahan dibawah Akta yang sama beberapa tahun lalu. Saya sebenarnya tidak risau Raja Petra ditahan kerana saya rasa orang yang menahan beliau tidak akan dapat apa-apa dari Raja Petra, cuma sakit hati saja. Jikalau pihak yang menahan berharap dengan penahanan Raja Petra kritikan terhadap mereka akan berkurangan, saya rasa ia sudah agak terlambat. Rakyat telah mula diperkasa oleh orang seperti Raja Petra. Tambahan pula pihak berkuasa telah memberi terlalu banyak sebab untuk mereka di kritik. Menahan satu Raja Petra akan membuat lebih ramai rakyat ala Raja Petra dilahirkan. Mungkin tidak se prolifik Raja Petra, tetapi jumlah mereka akan dapat mencapai impak serupa atau lebih dasyat lagi.

Wartawan Sin Chew ditahan kerana menulis laporan berkenaan ucapan salah satu ketua parti yang berkuasa yang telah mendapat perhatian ramai. Yang peliknya ketua tersebut telah didapati bersalah dan digantung keahlian partinya selama 3 tahun, tetapi tidak di ISAkan. Yang menulis laporan pula diISA. Yang lebih lawak Menteri menyatakan wartawan ditahan dibawah ISA untuk melindungi beliau dari bahaya kerana polis mendapat maklumat keselamatan wartawan tersebut diancam. Kalau nak melawak pun biarlah berhemah. Kalau awak dah bodoh, jangan ler anggap kami pun sama bodoh. Wartawan mencipta sejarah menjadi tahanan ISA paling singkat, selama 20 jam. Menteri kata polis telah membuat penyiasiatan teliti sebelum membuat tangkapan. Kalau betul teliti takkan selepas 20 jam apa yang disiasat telah bertukar.

YB Teresa Kok pula ditahan kerana dikatakan membangkang seruan azan yang terlalu kuat dan mahu azan dibuat tanpa pembesar suara. Tuduhan tersebut telah dibuat oleh seorang bekas ketua parti yang berkuasa tetapi sekarang pembangkang negeri. YB Teresa telah menafikan tuduhan tersebut dan telah pun bercadang untuk mengambil tindakan undang-undang. Tapi beliau tetap diISA.

Hari ini saya baca berita Persatuan Pengguna Islam (PPIM) pula membuat laporan polis terhadap YB Teresa. Yang persatuan nie sama sibuk pasal apa? Beberapa masjid yang kononnya terlibat pun dah buat laporan polis menyatakan mereka tidak pernah dilarang dari menggunakan pembesar suara ketika azan. Yang paling saya kecewa ialah Persatuan Pengguna Islam menyokong tindakan kerajaan mengguna ISA dalam ketiga-tiga kes diatas. Yang saya tahu, PPIM selalunya membuat pengesahan tentang halal atau haram satu-satu produk, satu usaha yang baik. Tapi bila mula berpihak ke satu kem, saya rasa kredibiliti PPIM akan merosot. Sepatutnya PPIM membuat kajian sama ada ISA satu akta yang menepati kehendak produk halal.

Banyak sangat lawak bodoh yang di persembahkan oleh pihak berkuasa kita, tetapi saya tidak berupaya untuk ketawa kerana mengenangkan nasib yang akan menimpa kita jika badut-badut ini masih memimpin kita.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Pak Samad telah kembali ke Rahmatullah

A. Samad Ismail, better known as Pak Samad, passed away yesterday, 4 September 2008 after being hospitalized for a few days. I've been following his condition from Nuraina's blog. I do not know the man as I have no occasion to meet him but I've been reading about him quiet a bit. Just from reading about him I cannot but feel in awe of the man. The country has lost a great son.

I managed to join the congregation at Kolej Islam's mosque for Friday prayers and thereafter the jenazah prayers. Alhamdullillah, the jenazah prayers attracted a large crowd. Even the PM was there. I also saw Pak Samad's friend Dr Syed Husin Ali. At the car park I saw an official car from the Singapore embassy. I think SIngapore's presence was appropriate. After all Pak Samad was a founding member of PAP together with Lee Kuan Yew.

I hope I could read more about the man soon. I really like to know more about how Pak Samad was roped in together with the 2 Dollahs into the ISA in the 70s. Pak Samad, a communist? How convenient. Reading Nuraina's bolg entries in her "Tuesdays with Bapak" series really whet my appetite on this subject. I would also like to read about first hand experiences from journalists who have been trained by Pak Samad in NST or Berita Harian.

Al-Fatihah. May Pak Samad's soul be grouped with those who are enlightened.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Kak Long's Birthday

Today is Nurlina's, my eldest daughter, birthday. I still remember my anxiety more than 20 years ago when she was about to be born. She was our first baby and being ignorant, both me and my wife were a total wreck. My wife started having pains on 30th August. Not wanting to take any chances I sent her to University Hospital. My father in law who was an ex-Director of the hospital insisted that our first 2 children be born in the hospital. "In case of any complications, that is the best hospital to be in", he had said many times and I'm in no position to say otherwise.

I sent my wife and using the excuse that nobody was allowed to be in the room, I waited in my in-laws, a few minutes drive away. Even if I had been allowed to be with my wife, I doubt I would have the courage to go through my wife's ordeal. My father-in law also insisted that my wife be tended to by his good friend, a professor who has long stopped delivering babies. On Merdeka day I visited my wife and had a word with a doctor who had been instructed by the professor to look after my wife. "Had it been me, I would have asked both of you to watch the Merdeka parade today", the junior doctor told me.

On 1st September my first child still refused to step into this world. That night the doctors decided to induce the birth. The first attempt failed and they had to do it again. If the second attempt failed too, my wife would have to be operated on or else there is a possibility that the child would drown. I was real worried but finally she decided to join us on 2nd September.

Being the first child, Nurlina, was of course quiet pampered but she was also our subject of experiments as many a time we were clueless as to how to look after her. The fact that both me and my wife were motherless made it more challenging for us. But ALhamdullillah, somehow we managed and she is now a full grown working adult. Of course, there are many stories that I can write about her but I will keep that in future years, God Willing.

Happy birthday Kak Long. May you be blessed and guided by Allah swt throughout your whole life.