Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lambaian Kaabah

InsyaAllah, pada 28hb November ini saya dan isteri akan berangkat menunaikan fardhu haji yang pertama. Walaupun telah dua kali dapat menunaikan umrah, kami tetap merasa gementar tentang cabaran yang akan kami hadapi semasa mengerjakan rukun Islam yang kelima ini.

Terasa sangat tidak bersedianya kami. Kami tidak sempat mengikuti kursus yang dijalankan oleh Tabung Haji. Cuma sempat mengikuti Kursus Haji Perdana peringkat negeri Selangor. Mujur ada seorang rakan menganjurkan satu kursus khas bersama Dato' Kamal Mohamad. Dapat juga berguru bersama beliau kurang lebih empat jam.

Bila difikir-fikirkan semacam belum bersedia untuk mengerjakan haji. Tetapi jika diteliti semula bila pula kita akan betul-betul bersedia. Tuhan telah lama memfardhukan ibadat ini, tetapi kita yang tidak mahu membuat persediaan. Hati sangat-sangat berharap Tuhan akan memberi kemudahan dalam kami menjalankan kerja-kerja haji ini.

Ya Allah, kami memohon supaya diberi kemudahan dalam mengerjakan ibadat yang telah Engkau fardhu keatas kami semua. Kami sebenarnya terlalu cetek ilmu dalam segala bidang dan sangat lemah dalam segala hal. Berilah kami kekuatan untuk melaksanakan ibadat ini, berilah kami kemudahan dalam segala perkara, jauhkan kami dari segala sifat-sifat yang Engkau tidak sukai ketika kami berada disana dan seterusnya dalam hidup kami. Tetapkanlah niat kami semata-mata untuk menunaikan perintah Engkau Ya Allah dan untuk mendapat keberkatan dan keradhaan dari Engkau. Jadikanlah kami manusia yang lebih baik dari apa yang ada sekarang. Ya Allah, maafkan lah dosa-dosa kami, dosa ibubapa kami, anak-anak kami, saudara-mara kami, guru-guru kami, rakan-rakan kami, jiran-jiran kami dan semua umat Islam. Ya Allah perkenankan lah segala hajat kami Ya Allah. Amin Ya Rabbalalamin.

Kepada semua yang membaca, maafkan segala kesalahan kami, halalkan makan minum kami dan hutang-hutang kami.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bangkok - November 11 to 14

I was in Bangkok to attend a Security Printing Conference which was held in the 5-star Hilton by the River. It was a nice hotel and expectedly expensive. As I was not familiar with Bangkok, I asked the office to put me up at the Hilton instead of some where cheaper.

The conference was a standard fare, met a few familiar faces and learnt a few new things. Nothing exceptional happened. I was also not feeling too well so I did not wander around town. I only crossed the Chao Praya (using the hotel's ferry) to look for some Muslim food after a few days of eating salad and bread.

On the 13th of November Thailand celebrated their Loy Krathong festival. The Chao Praya saw a hive of activities including fireworks. I did not joined the crowd as I did not have a camera with me. Even my handphone with its 10 megapixels camera worked against me. When I wanted to get into its camera mode, the message " "Not Enough Video Memory" popped up. So I just stayed in my room and witnessed the festivities from the comfort of my hotel room.

On my last day in Bangkok (Friday, 14 November) the whole city was in mourning. The revered King's elder sister was being cremated on that day. A majority of the Bangkok population were wearing black, even the younger generation. How I wished I had my camera with me. It was quite a sight. Apparently there was no compulsion, the people just do it on their own accord.

I reached KLIA on Friday evening. The waiting line for taxis was so long I decided to take the KLIA Express. That is another story.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pakatan yang tidak sepakat

The UMNO elections are in the limelight these days putting the other political stories in the background. But the Pakatan parties are in the news for the wrong reasons.

In Selangor, the MB from PKR appointed a Chinese as acting head of PKNS and PAS is making a big issue out of it. In Penang the DAP led government started including Chinese characters in names of roads and many Malays are not happy. In Kedah, the PAS led government announced that the Bumiputra quotas for some housing schemes are increased to 50% and many non Bumis are disappointed.

As can be seen all the issues are race related and we thought the Pakatan Rakyat "coalition" is free from race-based policies. However, what is more worrying is the fact that the Pakatan coalition seemed to be working on their own without any consultation among them though they are supposed to be in a coalition.

I'm disappointed with PAS in Selangor especially its head, Dr. Hassan Ali, who I know personally. For him to question the appointment of the head of PKNS just because she is Chinese is not the Hassan Ali I knew. What is wrong with having a Chinese as head even if the objective of the company is to help the Malays? After all, Malays have headed the corporation all these years and they have failed their own race. Wouldn't it be good for the country, in fact for everybody, if we can get a Chinese to help the Malays for a change? But no. Now even PAS wants to champion "Ketuanan Melayu".

I'm also disappointed with DAP in Penang. What is the necessity to have names of roads in Chinese characters? Just to show that they care for the Chinese language I guess. I had hoped that the current DAP leaders are more mature in their deeds. It maybe asking too much for DAP to fight for promoting only Malay as the national language but changing road signs to me is petty and cheap.

It looks like the Pakatan is far from a real coalition. Maybe it is not time for them to take over the federal government just yet.