Friday, 29 May 2009

My Imperfectly Perfect Jeannie

We arrived at Dannok yesterday evening and checked into Oliver Hotel, the place we usually stay by force of habit. It is also not the first time since Jeannie's demise that I have drawn this number on different occasions:

"627" was Jeannie's birthday and 27th June is almost exactly a month away. We moved to the new Satit Grand View Hotel today because it is equiped with WiFi in all rooms. I read my friend Ridhwan's latest blogpost today and he posted this so very touching video which carries such a true message. I remember my own imperfectly perfect Jeannie...I miss you darling.

A R&R Interlude

I followed a good buddy up north. Being a director in a large corporation, he was going to visit a factory within the group in Perlis. The long drive was a good opportunity to catch up on things since we hardly ever meet in KL. It was also an opportunity to hop over the Thai border for a couple of days temporary environment, not for the "obvious attractions" that prompted my abangs Hamdan and Sofian to joke that I "do one" on their behalf!

The town is called Dannok and it is literally a stone's throw away from the border immigration check-point. I am here for the different cuisine, foot and body massages, fresh fruits and catching up on reading and much needed sleep (and sleep I did, even during the drive up)! More so, it was a bit of R & R before an anticipated hectic next few months implementing a long overdue project.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Kejor! Yeop Kejor!!!

The ding donging situation of the 2MB fiasco is going through accelerated due process in the Malaysia legal system and as expected, Mahatma Mandela Zambry got the "stay of execution" of the High Court order from the Appeals Court. What this means is spelt out rather clearly in Screenshots today. A one-man panel (instead of the usual three) presided by newly minted Appeal Court Judge, Ramly Mohd Ali decided on the stay and Nizar can of course appeal for a full complement of three judges. After that there is another level of appeal available i.e. the Federal Court.

At every level there are judges who as fallible human beings also stand to be judged by the court of people's opinion. That being the case, why waste time and "due process"? Let the people of Perak who will be the biggest beneficiaries or the biggest losers whichever the case may be, be the judge? Cut to the chase! Over to you Bukit Chandan! Do not be tempted to give a new flavor to the term "Guided Democracy"; the Rakyat already faces too much "guidance" from a succession of PMs and we do not need Royalty to get in on the game!

Do the decent thing! Leave it to Yeop!

Monday, 11 May 2009

...Over To The People?

The buzz in Malaysia cyberspace is obviously High Court Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim's decision on the Perak 2MB rubbish. I must admit to not expecting this decision; not so much because I thought it would have been a wrong one but because, the judiciary had become rather predictable in this country.

Though Nizar appears to hold the advantage now, the situation is too hazy to call. Bukit Chandan (the seat of Perak Royalty) still holds sway over what can happen next; apparently the palace can either do the decent thing by dissolving the legislature for fresh elections or order an emergency session in which case a vote of no-confidence on Nizar or alternatively a vote of confidence on Dr Zambry can be tabled and carried, if BN’s three seat majority holds.

What ever the "Guys in Yellow" (the learned Father and Son) decide, they surely must know that "the government of the people, by the people, for the people..." does not mean "derhaka". It is time to end this fiasco and for the sake of the people, let Yeop decide!

Kejor Yeop Kejor!!!

Read The Malaysian Insider's "The impact of Nizar Vs Zambry" for a glimpse of the future in the crystal ball. Whatever the future holds, if the state legislature is dissolved I am sure the pepper spray toting "Hee Haw" won't be standing in Jelapang and it won't be because she is chapik. It would also be interesting to see if the other BN loyalists; Behrang's Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Changkat Jering's Osman Jailu will be fielded in "BN Blue" or they will be rewarded with the "BN Boot" for being no hopers.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Asri In Cymru

I was wondering where my favorite mufti, Dr Mohamad Asri Zainul Abidin is these days since he is no longer working in Perlis. Lo and behold this article in the Malaysian Insider today! He is thousands of km away in Lampeter, Wales (probably the University of Wales, Lampeter) researching Islam. Cymru to further study Islam? Wouldn't you think a country like Malaysia would be a more appropriate place to research Islam? Apparently he is certain why not.

Anyway, Cymru or Perlis, thank goodness for the internet! You can't shut a good man up for long...

LAMPETER (Wales), May 2 — Regardless of the state of the monarchy in Malaysia, a society that wants to move forward should shed medieval and feudal traditions, said former Perlis mufti Mohamad Asri Zainul Abidin.

"Citizens should have the right to criticise the Rulers. In Islam, there is no such thing as any person who is above criticism," he told The Malaysian Insider when asked about the issue of derhaka, or betrayal, that has become a point of contention amongst Muslims in the country.

The issue of derhaka came into prominence in February after Sultan Azlan Shah refused to dissolve the Perak assembly upon the request of the then Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin.

The Sultan of Perak later appointed Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir as mentri besar after installing Barisan Nasional as the state government. Certain quarters, especially BN, have tried to convince the public, especially the Malays, that criticising or disputing the decisions of the Rulers was tantamount to treason.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh, having stated that the Sultan could be sued along with the new BN state government, is now facing a sedition trial.

The maverick Islamic scholar, who has a strong following among young Muslims in Malaysia, said that the idea of being Malay and Muslim should be decoupled and addressed separately.

Speaking at his home in Lampeter, he disagreed with the conventional understanding that Malays have been Islamised but instead that they have "meMelayukan (to influence with Malay) Islam."

Asri, who was mufti for two years before quitting the position to move to Wales last December to research on Islam, was no stranger to controversial statements in his time as mufti. He became an icon for progressive Muslim voices for his stand against the propensity of religious authorities to conduct raids on Muslim couples engaged in khalwat, or close proximity, and has stated that non-Muslims had a right to use the word "Allah".

Asri said that Malays had to stop equating Islam with the Malays.

"If Malays want to defend their rights, go ahead based on Bumiputera rights or whatever. But you cannot say Islam does not defend you because you are Chinese or Indian. Islam was not given just to the Malays.

"Do not in your efforts to defend Malay rights relate it to Islam. Islam was not sent down by God to protect Malays but all of humanity," he explained, saying that such moves in the past had caused non-Malays to be fearful of the religion as it appeared to be intent on removing their culture.

During the interview, Asri expressed his consternation over ideas that have taken root in Malaysia under the guise of Islamic principles.

"Sometimes there are terms which we cannot understand. Daulat (sovereignty) for example. What is the meaning of daulat? Does this mean that if you criticise a Ruler, then you will be cursed by God? This is not in Islam," he said.