Gerakan Harapan Baru–Satu Pemerhatian Awal

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1. Kehadiran yang agak mengejutkan sehinggakan Dewan Perniagaan Cina Kelantan penuh hingga ke tempat parking. Indikasi awal menunjukan sokongan amat memberangsangkan. Ramai yang datang sememangkan dari golongan penyokong PAS Kelantan, walau begitu tidak dinafikan ada yang datang sekadar memerhati, mendengar dan melihat sendiri.

2. Ambo datang bersama ustaz-ustaz 40-an dari salah satu kawasan di Guchil, KB datang menyokong GHB. Kije kite pasang telinga apa yang dicakap mereka berkumpul sebelum ceramah. Ramai yang tidak bersetuju dengan cara pemilihan dan cara pembawaan selepas Muktamar akhir-akhir ini. Ramai bertukar posisi disebabkan oleh sikap dan akhlak tidak mencerminkan sisi seorang agamawan. Ringkasnya, ramai tidak bersetuju dengan pemimpin atasan PAS dan bukannya parti itu sendiri.

3. Golongan ustaz ini juga tidak bersetuju dengan langkah membuang sekapal golongan yang yang dilabel “professional” ini. Kata mereka, ia seperti sekolah SMU yang hanya ada pendidik ilmu agama sahaja. Tanya mereka, “siapa pula nak mengajar ekonomi, bahasa, sains, matematik dan lain”. “Takkan aku juga”, kata mereka. Ceritanya, mereka faham keperluan dan kepentingan kepelbagaian ilmu atau pemikiran dalam sesebuah organisasi. Begitulah kelohan mereka.

4. Dengar kata kebanyakan sekolah agama di KB pun sudah 50-50, ada yang masih walaa, ada sudah berubah fikiran. Ramai juga masih berdiam diri, menunggu dan melihat. Masih terlalu awal, baru siri pertama dan ramai masih takut-takut.

5. Ucaptama, Dato Wan Rahim meminta penyokong GHB tidak mengutuk PAS diatas dasar parti, kita tidak bersetuju dengan pimpinan dan bukannya parti itu sendiri.

6. Petang itu, keluarga dikunjungi oleh Dr Hamzah, pengerusi GHB Pahang sebelum bertolak ke ceramah GHB. Katanya langkah kearah perpecahan bukan baru. Ia telah bermula beberapa tahun lepas. Cuma, ia semakin agak ketara akhir-akhir ini. Banyak keputusan parti diperingkat atasan dibuat secara bersendirian dan tidak dimaklumkan kepada AJK-AJK Pusat malahan tidak juga dimaklumkan kepada Dato S/U. Apabila keputusan tidak dimaklumkan, maka ahli bergerak diatas keputusan yang diputusan sebelum itu yang kemudiannya bercanggah dengan keputusan Tuan Presiden. Antaranya Kajang Move, Isu YB Azmin dan YB Azizah, Isu Hudud, Isu pembahagian kawasan Dun semasa PRU, dll. Pertemuaan singkat, namun mendengar sendiri memberi perspeksi berbeza.

7. Jadi bagaimana sebagai sebuah parti yang mempunyai keahlian sejuta lebih mengkoordinasi, menstrategi, menyebar hebahan dan keputusan kepada AJK Pusat dan anggota kerja negeri yang lain jika keputusan dibuat oleh seorang sahaja. Tentulah, koordinasi menjadi pincang dan percaturan yang dijalankan sumbang. Ini adalah parti yang diamanahkan untuk menjaga kestabilan dan keharmonian Negara!

8. Cerita PRU depan dan percaturan PAS, PAS sekarang bersendirian. Hanya ada 2 percaturan yang dilihat, 2 penjuru (PAS bersama BN vs PR 2.0) atau 3 penjuru (PAS vs BN vs PR 2.0).

Bahasa Melayu vs Bahasa Ingeris : Bahasa pengantar dalam pendidikan Malaysia?

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Pada kurun ini, adalah tidak dinafikan Bahasa Ingeris amat penting kerana bahasa ini merupakan bahasa ilmu moden dan perniagaan antarabangsa. Penguasaan bahasa ini amatlah penting untuk dikuasai.

Namun begitu, pendidikan secara umum adalah salah satu perkara asas kepada negara yang mempunyai kadar kemasukan tahunan tingkatan 3 sebanyak 446,203 (2011, MOH).
Malaysia mempunyai seramai 79,254 (2010, MOHE) pelajar yang pelajar luar negara. Dari data ini, kita boleh mencongak sebanyak lebih kurang 19,000 pelajar baru dihantar ke luar negara untuk belajar dan separuh daripada nya dihantar ke negara yang berbahasa Ingeris seperti UK, US dan Australia. Negara lain seperti Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, China dan Mesir dianggap menggunakan bahasa ibunda sebagai bahasa pengantar di universiti.

Daripada data ini, kita boleh beranggapan seramai 10,000 pelajar (setiap sesi tahunan) dihantar ke luar negara yang penduduknya berbahasa Ingeris. Nisbah ini hanyalah merangkumi 2.5% dari jumlah pelajar satu sesi setiap tahun.

Bahasa Ingeris pada masa kini, sememangnya diajar di sekolah-sekolah kerajaan sebagai pelajaran asas. Maka, secara amnya bahasa ini sememangnya telah dipelajari. Masalah pelajar tidak dapat memguasai bahasa, sepatutnya diubahsuai cara pembelajaran, pembawaan guru, dan target sekolah.

Ramai dikalangan pelajar yang tidak dapat menguasai bahasa Ingeris adalah dikalanggan penduduk luar bandar. Adakah kerana kita mahu menjadi pelajar 2.5% ini, maka kita menidakan pendidikan kepada lebih 420,000 pelajar (97.5%) lagi?

Ramai juga cuba menyamakan pendidikan Ingeris di Singapura tetapi ramai lupa bahasa pertama Singapura adalah Ingeris dan bahasa kedua adalah Melayu, Tamil dan Mandarin.

Di Malaysia, bahasa pertama adalah Bahasa Melayu dan bahasa kedua adalah Ingeris. Maka, disini terdapat perbezaan dasar yang amat jelas.

Portfolio – Casuarina@Meru, Ipoh, Perak

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Casuarina@ Meru Hotel disiapkan pada tahun 2013. Hotel ini mempunyai kapasiti sebanyak 146 bilik pelbagai jenis termasuk permium dan bisnes, 3 dewan banquet besar dan restoran.

Bagi projek ini, pihak kami dibawah nama Jurutera Perunding Setiakawan Sdn Bhd diamanahkan untuk merekabentuk dan menyelia kerja-kerja kejuruteraan mekanikal dan elektrical. Pihak kami telah merekabentuk sistem pengudaraan dalaman, sistem pecegah kebakaran, kejuruteraan pengudaraan asap, sistem lampu dan elektrik (11kV dan 415V).

Congratulation my friends

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This year many of my friends finish their doctorate degree, PhD. Here, I would like to wish you all congratulation and good luck.

I know it was hard to finish your doctorate degree, but hopefully you all can contribute to our educational system. After struggling about another additional 2 years for master and 4 years for PhD while working part-time as tutor and half- lecturer. I can not imagine how you all survive while learning and also seeking for money.

This post would like to dedicate a congratulation to my lecturer who also my final year advisor who just receive his full professor, Prof. Dr Mohd. Zulkifly b. Abdullah.

The future of political Islam

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ISLAMIST DEMOCRACY: The Egyptian crisis raises deeper questions about religious politics

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1.  THE toppling of president Mohamed Morsi and his Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt has raised a host of deep and difficult questions about the future of politicised religion in general, and political Islam in particular.

2.  For starters, it has posed us with the singular query: if the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt now feels that the democratic path is not the means to attain state capture, would this induce some of them to abandon the democratic process altogether and opt for other, perhaps extra-constitutional, means to come to power?

3.  One is reminded of the thesis of Olivier Roy, who has written extensively about the future of political Islam. His argument, developed in the late 1990s, was that religio-political movements such as the Ikhwan’ul Muslimin would eventually learn to moderate and compromise if they were allowed to become part of the democratic process.

4.  The belief then was that the arena of politics was like a structured mould that would shape and form all movements that entered its normative space. The assumption underlying this argument is that religio-political movements were the “soft” human component that entered the “hard” structure of states and institutions, and that such institutions – by virtue of their capacity to maintain and reproduce structured norms of behaviour – would tame the belligerent forces that would otherwise have tried to capture the state and turn it into something else.

5.  For a while, the thesis struck a resonant chord among many analysts and scholars; and there was ample evidence from all over the Muslim world that Islamist parties and movements would conform to the pattern of behaviour Roy had predicted.

6.  Even Islamist thinkers like Rashid Ghannouchi had stated, before the 1990s, that the Islamist movements of North Africa would have to learn to play by the rules of democracy and that if they wanted to come to power, it had to be via the ballot box. Related to this was the other caveat that such movements would also have to accept the will of the majority and accept the possibility that they may also be voted out of power.
The experiment with Islamist democracy was, therefore, not unique to Egypt, for we have seen the same taking place in countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Southeast Asia, we are also presented with several Islamist parties that have likewise committed themselves to the democratic process.

7.  By and large, Roy’s argument seems to have been correct, for we have seen how the Islamist parties of Turkey and Indonesia have adapted themselves to the realities of modern states and modern democratic processes. This has not simply meant the change to their outward appearance in terms of their sartorial choices and the shift from robes and turbans to business suits and i-Pads.

8.  It has also meant that many of these religio-political parties have begun to speak the language of democracy as well, and have to take into account serious challenges such as the accommodation of religious and cultural pluralism in the countries they wish to govern.

9.  Morsi has been accused of being too strong-minded, autocratic and even borderline dictatorial.

  The manner in which the new Egyptian constitution was ramrodded without the visible support and cooperation of other parties in the country was a poor starting point that eroded his claim that he would abide by the norms of democratic consensus and consultation.

10.  So were the many less important policies that were pushed through, which had more to do with cosmetic forms of religious politics than a genuine shift in terms of the ethical prerogatives of the state.

11.  But the toppling of Morsi is also something that has serious repercussions in the short and long term for Egypt, and the Muslim world at large.

12.  For whatever mistakes and shortcomings of Morsi and the FJP party, it has to be said they had come to power with a majority of votes that did reflect the will of the people.

13.  The toppling of the Morsi government has now gained the attention of Islamist movements worldwide, from Turkey to Indonesia; and the fundamental question has been raised by them: if an Islamist government can be brought down despite having won the elections, does this mean that all Islamist movements will meet the same fate in the end? And, if so, why should the Islamist movements of the world even play by the rules of democracy in the first place?

14.  My own concern lies in the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood’s short-lived experiment with democratic politics was seen as a barometer for Muslim sensibilities in the Arab world today, which remains in a state of semi-permanent crisis. The Brotherhood was criticised by some of the more radical and violent Islamist groups of Egypt for “selling out” and transforming themselves into a political party, and by doing so accepting the rules of the democratic game.

15.  Now that they have been deposed, the more radical voices in the Arab world might find themselves in a stronger position to say that democracy cannot be reconciled with religion.

16.  That would be the wrong and dangerous path to follow and one that may end up being self-defeating in the long run. But, for now, the Brotherhood’s democratic experiment has come to a halt and the world waits to see if rational voices will be heard again.

Source : Dr. Farish A Noor, The Future of Political Islam,

Professor Jackie Ying

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A Life of Passion, Commitment and Hard Work: Professor Jackie Ying

Jackie Y. Ying is someone whose life defies expectations and stereotypes at every turn. In the largely male-dominated field of scientific research with few prominent Asians or Muslims, Professor Ying is a female, Chinese-Muslim whose work in the field of nanotechnology has earned her accolade after accolade throughout her career, earning her the position of Executive Director of the Institute and Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) under Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) in 2003 and a spot in the list of the 500 Most Influential Muslims, published annually by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC).

Her Work and Achievements

At age 36, Professor Ying became the youngest full Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and two years later became the youngest member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the world’s oldest academy for medicine and natural sciences. In 2008, she earned a place as one of only eight women in a list of 100 Engineers of the Modern Era, compiled by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, honouring individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of engineering.

In 2003, she was handpicked by Philip Yeo, then Chairman of A*Star, to head the newly-formed IBN, where she still serves as Executive-Director. Her laboratory’s research in the field of nanotechnology has applications in biomedical sciences and the environment among others, with research including the creation of an artificial kidney, advanced solar cells and carbon sequestration. Professor Ying is also the Editor-in-Chief of Nano Today, a journal ranked 2nd in the Institute for Scientific Information’s (ISI) Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Professor Ying has 290 articles and 120 patents to her name, and presented more than 330 lectures at international conferences.

Her Life

Despite her prominence in her field and having been interviewed by the media both in Singapore and abroad, Professor Jackie Ying has been tight-lipped about her personal life, never divulging much information about her family, or her conversion to Islam several years ago.

Born in Taiwan, at age 7 Professor Ying came to Singapore, where her father was a lecturer of Chinese Literature at Nanyang University (the current Nanyang Technological University). Her passion for science developed during her teenage years spent both in Singapore, where she studied at Raffles Girls School, and New York, when her teachers instilled in her a love for chemistry.

Mentor and Role Model

Her desire to pass on her passion for science to the younger generation is apparent. Professor Ying credits her mentors at the chemical engineering department at MIT with providing her with invaluable advice and support, and she intends to cultivate this culture of mentorship to the next generation of scientists here in Singapore.

In 2003, IBN established the Youth Research Programme, to give secondary and tertiary level students the chance to experience life in the world of biomedical research through attachments, workshops and lab visits. The Youth Research Programme allows the institute to identify young talents and every year, 200 students are mentored by a researcher under the programme, with many keeping in touch with their mentors.

Professor Ying has spoken at Transformations, a forum organised by Mendaki on individual, familial, organisational and societal change, and the Young Muslims Scientist Seminar, organised by The W.R.I.T.E. Club, an initiative under Masjid Al-Istiqamah. She has also spoken at Creating a Nanotechnology Toolbox, a talk organised by the National University of Singapore Muslim Society (NUSMS), on nanotechnology as well as her experience in the field of research as a Muslim academic.

Professor Ying is also one of the mentors under Mendaki’s Project Protégé, mentoring and inspiring Muslim youth wanting to go into the field of science, and giving them the opportunity to immerse themselves in a research project carried out at her laboratory.

Passion and Hard Work

All of the above is just scratching at the surface of Professor Jackie Y. Ying’s life and work. With Professor Ying herself acknowledging that she puts in 70-80 hours a week at what she does, she is a living testament to the need to have both passion and a commitment to hard work when pursuing one’s goals. Professor Ying is an inspiration, not just to women or Muslims, but all people regardless of religion, ethnicity, gender or nationality.

In defence of Erdogan

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Eric S. Margolis

WESTERN politicians and media have been scolding Turkey’s prime minister Recep Erdogan over anti-government demonstrations in Istanbul and Ankara.

What began as a local protest over the foolish plan to raze trees in Gezi Park near Istanbul’s bustling Taksim Square quickly exploded into major protests thanks to the ham-handed response of Istanbul police, who tear-gassed and beat demonstrators. Turkish police have never been famed for gentleness.

Erdogan’s curt dismissal of the crowd as “looters” further inflamed the situation. In the West, Erdogan was accused of growing authoritarianism and trying to remake Turkey into an Islamic state.

Even the normally sensible Economist magazine accused Turkey’s leader of trying to become a new Ottoman sultan.

What hypocrisy. These were the same western newspapers and politicians who ardently backed Turkey’s former governments that were little more than sock puppets for the military. The very same opinion-makers lauded Egypt’s brutal dictator, Hosni Mubarak, as a “statesman”.

So-called NGOs like Freedom House and Amnesty International, cat’s paws for western governments, attacked Erdogan.

The demonstrators in Turkey’s cities were mostly young, secular and indulging in a springtime flash riot, facilitated by new social media and support from abroad.

Many were rightly angered by Erdogan’s wrong-headed decision to take a lead role in trying to overthrow Syria’s government, a key trading partner for Turkey.

Others, by his plans to limit public drinking and the eternal dispute over women’s head scarves.

What we have been witnessing is an attempt by anti-Erdogan secularists and far rightists, joined by members of Turkey’s long quiescent far left, to achieve what they could not do at the ballot box: ousting Erdogan’s moderate Islamic AK party from power.

These are the same forces who made a terrible mess of Turkey when they were in power from the 1940’s until the 1990’s: coups, riots, murders, regular financial crisis, and brutal human rights violations.

The United States and its media have turned against Erdogan primarily because of his clashes with Israel. Pro-Israel groups in the US are now taking the lead in calling for Erdogan’s ouster. Washington’s conservatives see him as too independent and unreliable.

Over the last decade, Erdogan transformed battered, bankrupt Turkey into an economic powerhouse by imposing sound finances and releasing the pent up power of the commercial class that had long been stifled by the cartels and monopolies of the secular leadership for whom the 1930’s anti-Islamic dictator, Kemal Ataturk, remains a state deity.

Ataturk was a great national hero who saved Turkey from being carved up by the western powers, Greece, and the Soviet Union. But he proved a destructive political leader, tearing up Turkey’s historical roots and religion and replacing them with a vague form of 1930’s state fascism.

Erdogan has indeed grown mildly imperious; success and the lack of any real political opposition has gone to his head. But he is not yet a new sultan and shows few signs of trying to become one.

He has brought real democracy to Turkey, financial stability, and brought it close to European social and legal standards.
Syria aside, Erdogan has made great strides in restoring Turkey’s regional leadership and power.

As Turks used to say, “Turkey is the centre of everything.” Erdogan remains the Middle East’s most popular leader.

Turkey’s able president, Abdullah Gul, who may become a rival of Erdogan in elections, has helped calm the waters. Gul remains the good cop while Erdogan the bad.

Remember, in the last election, Erdogan won a landslide in Turkey’s fractured political system, taking almost 50% of the vote in a poll with an over 80% turnout.

Recent demonstrations have sent Turkey’s stock and bond markets into a tailspin, threatening a financial crisis after a decade of calm and steady growth.

Erdogan is on the edge of achieving a real peace with Turkey’s rebellious Kurds – the most important advance in modern Turkish history. One suspects Turkey’s generals, some of them itching to stage a coup, and their foreign allies, are trying to derail Kurdish peace talks by encouraging the demonstrations.

It took the AK Party a decade to defang the generals and push them out of politics. Are Turkey’s pashas trying to stage a comeback?

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist, writing mainly about the Middle East and South Asia. Comments: letters@thesundaily.com