Friday, 21 September 2012

Jiwa Islamku Bermodal Minima

Gegak gempita sungguh jiwa islamku ini
Tatkala Rasullah kekasihku dihina dicerca
Aku pantas menyukai halaman “Kami Bantah” di FB
Sambil malayari filem apa untuk jamuan mata dan minda
Dikala cuti minggu yang bakal tiba
Secawan latte mocha di sisi, dari Starbucks, masih berisi sepertiga

Gagah sungguh jiwa Islamku ini
Pantas jari jemari meng”RT” Tweet “Kami Bantah”, canggih skrinnya
Sambil menunggu solat jumaat fardhu di qamati Bilal
Sambil dibenak berkata tanpa suara
Ah panjang pula kutbah kali ini tamatnya bila…
Mata melereti Tweet yang silang berganti kunjungnya

Hebat sungguh jiwa Islamku ini
Tangkas ingin turut serta kawanan memprotes
Di hadapan kamar kerja kaum yang kufur
Menyokong pastinya mereka itu semua
Akan penghinaan yang sudah seminggu dua meletus di dunia tanpa batasan
Kalau ditanya: Ah, mana bisaku ketahui sentimen mereka yang diluar bicaraku

Gemilang sungguh jiwa Islamku ini
Masih bisa menunjuk “Cool” disebalik serangan serangan yang berentetan tiba
Meneyeleweng sewenang - wenangnya Sirrah dan Syamail Rasulku
Dikatakan Baginda SAW itu ini begitu begini
Bagaimana hendakku debat tapinya
Sedangkan Baginda ku kenal tidak seberapa…

Apakah ini kondisi jiwa Islamku
Dikotori nafsu yang lagha
Membentak tiada menurut cuma
Jihad jauh sekali terkuncinya minda
Oleh cinta terlampau cintanya dunia

Mungkinkah aku cuma bisa berkata
Astaga, Astaga, Astaga
Walhal hariku terus bergelumang dosa
Hanya berharap ampunan Allah yang Maha Esa
Bermodalkan usaha paling minima

Pray Tell

RM20 million seems to the min cost for building a new mosque going by Mohsin Abdullah’s writing and the plea from Setia Alam surau one fine Friday sermon a few weeks back.

The Khatib – a Kelantanese Imam who recites the Al Fatihah with much aplomb and finesse – spoke of the said sum to a typically packed congregation for the proposed new mosque in the up and about new township sandwiched between Shah Alam and Klang.

Apparently, Muslim residents there had started a donation drive. Collections however impressive at RM700k looks to be a dead option when looking at the price tag being bandied.

I’ve paraphrase two sentences to the above actually, but that’s the gist of it.

Mohsin, in a second article on Kampung Baru, wrote: “…the wrecking ball descended on the mosque. The back portion demolished.. the project train set in motion. Poser: Could this mean, taking into consideration what the PM had said, that the Kampung Baru facelift is also on its way?

He asked some really valid questions in fact.

The government has a nasty habit of bulldozing through, urm, “developments” despite some particularly sustained protests. Lynas, Pengerang, EPF loan for poor housing, 100 storey Tower, Section 114A…

There could well be exceptions, but nothing comes to mind at the moment.

I used to believe in the “big picture” justification. Not anymore.

With plots of land being carved out for mega developments – Sungai Buloh RRI land, Sungei Besi airport  – the folks in Kampung Baru (the few enclave left of bustling, busy and chronically overbuild capital City) would well be forgiven to cast suspicious glances at seemingly Blitzkrieg- styled tactics.

As for the mosque in Setia Alam, how I wish I was a millionaire; no, make that a billionaire…

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bleeping Sod-Offs

These days I often winced every time EPF appears in the news.
As is often the case, the news would be on the nation’s richer institution spending money for something or the other.

Recent ones being the RM2.4 billion for the RRI land, the 20% stake for the RM2 billion Battersea project, and not to forget, the RM1.5 billion for Raja Nong Chik’s housing loans for the KL poor scheme.

How much is EPF, urm , exposure vis-a-vis FGVH in pure money terms, I wonder? 

According to fellow blogger SakMongkol, it’s around RM1.2 billion. Another multi-billion venture, if that is so.

In the shareholding business, it’s great to be able to buy low especially if you are holding the shares for a much longer term with the proviso of a company with positive outlook. Is this the case with FGVH?

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. This depends very much on who you ask this question to.

The fact remains however that for the FGVH IPO, even the State governments – not the epitome of financial savvy managers – were roped in to, urm, prop the debut price.

There is in place a 6-month’s holding period for the local institution. I supposed this includes the latter.

Query: What happens if the price continues to tumble below the issue price? Will EPF continue to accumulate FGVH shares on the quiet? Up to what point will it continue to do so?

And if the shares continue to tumble, wouldn’t buying them constitute a breach of responsibility on the EPF part in managing its contributors’ hard earned retirement savings for good returns?

Unfortunately, EPF contributors do not have much say on the institution’s investing decisions.

Hence, the go ahead for Raja Nong Chik’s loans for the poor scheme despite some rumblings of how the EPF seemed to be the other favorite purse of the politically-intertwined.

The other being Petronas, of course, but the still-mighty corporation of the nation has made its feeling known over it reservations in being a cash cow for all and sundry.

Cash flushed as it is, the EPF is not a bottomless well of funds and eventually – if everyone were to dip into the piggy bank as if it was their own – the base would be reached.

We certainly have plenty of examples of once cash-rich coffers hence depleted, don’t we?

So, do Sod Off all you grubby hands. Please.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Token Prayers

I received news of former colleague M Husairy Othman’s death via an FB posting of fellow friends last night.

Husairy was pretty much an out and out journalist of old; with a good knack for coming out with great news pieces from the most mundane of everyday tit bits.

Like me, he was also a former Sun reporter before working with NST. We sort of rejoined, urm, colleague-ness after I opted to join the then-newly opened Malay Mail Ipoh branch back in 2004.

The last memory etched in my mind of Husairy was the “professional dispute” we had on a particular assignment which I strongly thought was way too slanted and too partisanship to be given much weight and coverage, to which he disagreed.

I covered the function all the same as I know reporters are supposed to be objective anyway.

Just felt that I had to speak my mind as it was during the whole ding dong days when Perak went without a state government after Barisan Nasional lost its majority to the then loosely set up Pakatan Rakyat.

I left NST soon after that on the pretext of joining my better half who got a job in Shah Alam. Truth was I couldn’t stomach the one-sidedness of NST anymore.

I digress.

As far as I can tell, Husairy’s commitment in getting frontpage / leadpage news items was second to none.

Perhaps it was because of this passion that he smoked like a chimney, drinks hard when he did and had his fair share of info-kakis of dubious nature in his pursuit of stories.

We were not that close, but there was still a pang of sadness when I read of his passing away.

RIP Bro. I will sedekah an Al Fatihah every now and then as I do to my other friends who have passed the mortal coil much earlier.

Hope this token prayer reaches you in the afterlife.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Blessed Eid' Fitr, Everyone

Wishing everyone a Blessed, and Joyous Eidul Fitri this Syawal.

Do go slow(er) on the Ketupat and Rendang. And Raya cookies... And Raya carbonated drinks... And the Raya dodols... the Raya mercuns and bunga apis....

And do remember the six Syawal fasting... Doesn't have to be in a stretch.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

In Your Face

"This is not a film to cause disunity, far from it. We are not talking about politics, we are talking about two great men who have done extraordinary things," Shuhaimi (Baba) told a press conference. "It's history, it's fact. It's because society is mature enough that we feel it's time for them to watch history."

Quick question: How many “historical” films can you name deals strictly with facts?

Fact: “Historical” movies are never about facts; they are about drama, iconic personalities, heart rending events, etc. Facts bore and have as much entertainment value as, urm, watching white paint dry.

On to Suhaimi’s “Tanda Putera” which had attracted controversy on allegations it depicted pro-Malay and anti-Chinese sentiments.

Fact: The movie has yet to see its public screening.

More boring fact: I saw the “new” (at least to me) 1:30 minutes long trailer this morning after the Subuh prayers whilst waiting for the kids to wake up.

Not a fact: I found it intolerably black and white vis a vis its depiction of the May 13, 1969 and the supposed protagonists who sparked one the nation’s darkest days.
There were more dislikes than like for the Trailer and I took to cue to mark my own view on what I saw.

Watching the trailer reminded me of the day long ago when I went to see the movie “Turtle Beach” to see what the hoo haa was all about.

Suffice to say, I walked out in disgust before the film ended due to the, urm, creative embellishing of supposed “facts” involving the country’s treatment of Vietnamese refugees.

Amongst others. There were more, but memory fails me and the earlier part of the movie wasn’t that great either.

To reiterate: Tanda Putera trailer elicited the same kind of lumpy, um, disgust – for want of a more precise word – as did “Turtle Beach”.

Fair enough, Malaysians are by far more mature these days and can certainly stomach enough of grey-boundaried–sensitive-issues and topics discussions.

Surely there are more ways to depict what happened during the dreaded days where hundreds died after all hell broke loose when local politics turned topsy turvy.

Yes: at the core of the May 13, 1969 incident was politics and unsustainable levels of hate / race-politics mongering.

And unfortunately, the brief “Tanda Putera” trailer blatantly smacks you in the face with depiction on who’s to blame.

The question I wish to ask Suhaimi: Why does it have to be so?

PS: Recalling the gleeful pleasure of watching Bruce Lee kick bad-ass Japanese butts in Fist of Fury, a blatantly black white movie except for turncoats in an interpreter and tea maker. Contrast this with Jet Li’s version in Fist of Legend where – surprise, surprise – there are bad/good Japs.

Sign of times, surely.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Fascist Book of Tricks

"It is an old strategy in the fascist book of tricks: to dehumanize the other, to relegate and reduce their individuality into racial labels and to render their hopes, fears and vulnerabilities invisible; in other words, to oppress. What is worse, passages from the holy Quran are evoked in the process for justification."

Ouch… Unless you have a supremely thick hide, to be called a fascist must surely hurt somewhere.

The only fascist I know in my ever so limited knowledge is Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), him who was a leader of one of the three Axis Alliance of World War II.

For an in-depth read on what exactly is fascism, look it up in Wikipedia here. One thing’s for sure, it is not pretty to be called one.

Anyway, the above is a direct copy pasting of a statement by the Islamic Renaissance Front titled: “Lessons from the demonization of DAP”.

This is in the back of two front pages by DAP’s perennial fourth estate foe, Utusan Malaysia, of so-called religious, urm, statement that it is haram (not kosher?) to vote for DAP and any other political parties who are “sekongkol”ing with them as they (DAP, that is) is a kafir harbi kind of party.

As I don’t read Utusan, I neither know head nor tale of the detail story, but even the headline is somewhat silly vis a vis the soon-but-not-that soon to be held 13th General Election. 

Say, just say for brevity's sake that you do take the issue seriously.

Okay; noted then. No crossing the boxes of DAP candidates, even if they are Malays or Muslims.

No crossing boxes of “sekongkol”ing political parties either; so scratch PSM, PKR and PAS candidates.

Which leaves fellow non partisan Malaysian Muslims with pretty much only the independents IF they wish to NOT vote for the candidates of UMNO and “sekongkol”ing MCA-MIC and the likes.
You know, there is such a thing as Syubhah (looks like haram but not quite, so better to keep at arm’s length).

Then again, independents these days are either BN or PR friendly, so you’re stuck there to.

I give up: do you even get to exercise this once every five year basic right then?

Seriously, Utusan Malaysia has played the racial card and now is playing the religious card against DAP with nary a slap on the wrist.

To what ends are the editors looking at with such incendiary headlines?

Let’s face it: as it is, many have made up their made their mind whose butt they want kicked come vote counting time, and stoking such racial and religious lines just jack up the adrenaline levels of only hard core followers.

I seriously doubt it will sway the so called fence sitters with minds of their own.