Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Muamalat – Introduction

I have been talking a lot about Muamalat. So what is Muamalat? Literally, it is interaction between humans. However, in the context of my writings, its definition is taken to be how it is used in the economic sense, where Muamalat is generally translated as the ‘Islamic economic model’. (Some may argue that ‘economics’ is not Islamic; but for the purpose of this discussion, the relation in definitions is used to express concepts that can be connected to current realities.)

So why is Muamalat important? Very briefly, in order for Muslims to return to a ‘golden age’ as prophesied, we cannot be operating in an economic system based on riba (let’s call this ‘conventional economics’). As how Muslims were operating in Muamalat from the days of the prophet SAW right up till the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate (the last unified age of the Ummah in power), it is only logical that a return of Islam’s glory is supported by all aspects that make Muslims in total submission to Allah SWT, including practicing Muamalat (as opposed as being supported by conventional economics).

So, in cognisance of my pointed agenda in politics to reintroduce Muamalat to the masses, my writings on this personal blog of mine will include Muamalat matters to help frame my ideas and share my sentiments, as part of a larger effort in more structured Muamalat activities I hope to activate soon. The reader, although may gain some benefit in understanding Muamalat from this blog, will definitely do much better by participating in formal classes and perusing well-documented reading materials elsewhere, but I will still share my ideas here in an ad hoc (and sometimes incoherent) manner for those interested to follow my personal train of thoughts. And because my time is limited, sliced into many small slivers of several sub-activities, the blog posts will be short too. Perhaps it will help in retaining attention spans of the tech-overwhelmed readers. I should know, I'm one of them.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Ramadan Reflections – Day 6

The Economy

The state of the economy in Malaysia is either good or bad, depending on who you ask. If you ask the top leadership in the governing administration, the economy of Malaysia is looking all fine and dandy. If you ask most members of the general public (the 99%), the probable answer is that the economy is bad with many complaining about higher costs of living, etc. Of course, the 1% are too busy indulging in Ramadan buffets at 5-star hotels to answer this question. If you ask the opposition politicians, by default their answer is that the economy is so bad and it will only get worse. If you ask me, you will get a earful. So here it is.

There is no simple answer to the state of the economy, and most answers are simply a straightforward reply based on a conventional framework of how an economy should function and the effects of various economic measures introduced. For example, we have the wonderful statistics of improving GDP, a dynamic stock market, acceptable unemployment levels, healthy manufacturing and exports, low GST rates contributing to billions in Government’s coffers, yada yada. At the same time, we have creeping inflation, a plunging currency, exorbitant property prices in combustible bubbles in spite of the enlarging glut, astronomical debts, failing GLCs, blah blah. There is never a hint of pessimism from the central bank. Yet the doom & gloom is ever persistent from the non-desisting detractors. In the end the individual still goes on with life, albeit drudgingly.

All this is pretty boring to me. Boring because it is always the same talk that surfaces. Boring because nobody bothers to scratch the surface to see what is underneath, at least the nobodies who matter. So it seems to me that both these people who applaud much and accurse more, do not have much foresight to delve deeper into economic matters. And so here I am ever obliging to give a piece of my mind.

Malaysia, as with almost all of the world’s countries, is following a very predictable economic path based on conventional economics. A peruse of my earlier writings define the conventional economy as one that is mainly riba (usury)-based, with fiat currencies at its core, fractional banking systems and thus making possible a debt-based national growth model. The short of it is that any economy based on this model is doomed to fail. The long of it is, after an euphoria of much-vaunted growth at reckless speeds with so called mega developments, it will all come crashing down with insurmountable debts and crippling expenditure burdens. Unless of course, the country of choice is the ‘chosen one’ – and by ‘chosen one’ it is meant as the unfair distinction to defray their destruction unto other nation states at their whim and fancy. So we have the situation of some countries, at least, able to remain afloat in this model, at the expense of creating chaos & carnage in other countries. Think of the United States of America, for example (not that there are many other ‘chosen one’ examples). In spite of having the highest debt in the world (which they owe themselves), their economic security (or whatever superficial sense they are projecting of it), remains sanctioned, because they simply use tools at their disposal to subject other countries to strife, to the ultimate benefit of themselves. Wars, conflicts, sovereign sabotages, topsy-turvy oil prices – you name it. They have done it. Issuing ever increasing zeroes in Treasury bonds, trillions in toxic instruments, and churning out ever growing genre of weapons by their military industrial complex, their economic oligopoly keeps the country afloat by sinking other countries. Want to join the club? Simply kowtow to the American dream, just like how ‘elite’ European countries, obedient Middle-Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, democratic model states like India, and maybe some oriental countries like Japan & Singapore, did. (The protectorate of Israel doesn’t count – it is just being prepared to be the next world superpower by the current waning ‘superpower’ USA). All countries with humongous debts yet able to trundle on. Other countries who try or wish to assert independence, yet still subjecting themselves to the same economic model, will not fare so well. Just look at Greece. And maybe Iran. Some self-contained countries trying to make it on their own by going against the grain (and throwing bankers into jails) are having mixed success, like Ireland. The really large countries like Russia and China that dare go against the grain have some degree of ability to balance their footing in the same model, but are quickly realising that they are being made the beating butt of the bullies, and will probably opt out of the system before long. Smaller fry countries, like Malaysia, have neither chance to be independent of the system, nor choice to choose a better one, but to remain subjugated to the masters of this economic model, for fear of being thrashed into turmoil at the slightest show of insipience against the ‘wisdom’ of these conventional economic gurus. But even the friendliest of friendliness can only get us so far. It may buy us time, but only to become eventually enslaved to a very select few that will retain their noses above the water line. The rest like us will drown. Of course, there is a bigger picture to this than just the economy. It is about world domination by the greatest deception. But that is another story for another time.

So in one sense we are lucky to have Najib as our leader. An Obama buddy, champion of USA-Malaysia bilateral ties, keenest of the pack (of Prime Ministers) to play the poodle to the pop President. Perhaps the total opposite of Mahathir, that irascible, recalcitrant, anti-Semitic, loud-mouthed leader loathed by the new world order. (That was a compliment from me; and I hope it was all not just for show.) So Malaysia, under Najib, is somewhat protected economically. As long as we sign the TPPA, of course. And continue supporting the almighty US Dollar. In GOD we trust, remember? Yeah, false gods, that is! But nevertheless, one can be stupid, or one can be sly. If Najib is genuinely a believer in the conventional economics model and all that it entails, then he is stupid. But if he is only playing to the tune of the pied piper, to outwardly gain favours but biding for time to implement something better, then he is sly. The problem is, he does not seem to be hinting at providing any better options for us. It is all the same old, same old story, selling us a putrid picture of high-income economy towards a developed nation status by 2020(?), when that is all really a pipe dream. And by better options, I am referring to implementing an alternative economic model in the vein of “Muamalat”, generally translated as Islamic economics (definitely not “Islamic banking” as it is now promoted). In fact, does Najib even know Muamalat? No indications so far. His advisors are simply not up to par, I guess. So I can only surmise from all the public information made available to me, that Najib is a conventionally incompetent Muslim leader, unable to deliver on a vision to bring the Ummah towards greater heights, because he has no idea on what to do for us to bring us forward. So unless he does something soon, or at least announce something soon, I really do not see the advantage of keeping him as our leader for any longer, if there can be a better replacement in sight. However, most worryingly, no other replacement candidate seems to able to deliver on this Islamic ideal as well. Not Muhyiddin, not Ku Li, not Hadi, not Anwar, and maybe if we peer a bit further into the crystal ball, not even Khairy. Nobody seems to be talking the right language that I’d like to hear. Help us Lord!

I guess we are back to square one. An economy destined to self-destruct, with a leadership that only knows how to say yes to conventional economics without an inkling of how to implement the ideal Islamic model of economy to ensure the survival and revival of a future generation. This cannot be right, because the Muslims are promised a bright, grand future, one that is shaped according to our own fair, just, sustainable economic model that is filled with Allah’s barakah. The Muslims will only rise with Muamalat, which must happen, as a logical step towards progression. So I take some comfort that the situation will change, somehow, somewhere. But along with that comfort is a call to action, to put in an effort to change this crippling inaction of the present pomposity of pathetic plodders. Hence, my political involvement is an obligation out of necessity. So that I won’t be asked in my grave – with all the knowledge I was given, what have I done to address the economy?

Monday, 22 June 2015

Ramadan Reflections – Day 5

Due to a disrupted sleep pattern, I can only manage a short piece today. So I will talk about Dato' Sri Najib as Prime Minister and UMNO's President and my position about it.

Dato' Sri Najib

In line with Muslim guidelines with regards to respect for leadership, and in cognisant of the fact that I am a Malaysian and an UMNO member, it is incumbent upon me to support Najib as both the PM of Malaysia and President of UMNO, as long as that support is for any action in which he does not transgress Allah's command.

But at the same time, there is no obligation for me to express support for incompetent leadership. In recent times, such incompetency has clearly been demonstrated by Najib in the handling of 1MDB. In the larger picture, Najib still lacks a comprehensive vision to bring the Ummah (specifically in Malaysia) to greater heights, a sore deficiency in his leadership. It is for this twin reason that there must be an effort either to (a) improve Najib or (b) replace him with a better leader. For the former option, I hope to exhaust all avenues to lend efforts to such an attempt – for at least as long as he is our leader; but honestly I have very little hope for his capacity to improve, based on my observation of his ideas, performance and reactions to recent events. On the latter option, there are proper avenues to effect such a replacement. The lesser avenue would be through UMNO elections. The larger avenue would be through the general election. On this option to replace him as the leader of UMNO & Malaysia, some figures such as Tun Mahathir has opted for more open expressions to get Najib to resign his leadership. Of course, Mahathir has every right to do so; but Najib also has every right to reject such requests. Such tit-for-tat should not be made into such a big fuss. The bigger fuss should rightly be about how the leadership must be able to deliver.

It is also in this line that, as an UMNO member, I am planning to 'work the UMNO ground' to remove Najib as the leader and replaced with a more able person, IF he does not show any improvement before the next UMNO elections. Because I am only obliged to do so, 'to play better' so to speak, in this game of politics. But in the meantime, as long as he is our leader, I do sincerely hope that he can improve much, and be less incompetent.

I cannot say much about removing him through the general elections though. Although I am theoretically a registered voter, I typically only vote for someone who can openly express the sovereignty of Allah above democracy. That is mostly absent in political candidates nowadays. And that is why I am mostly absent in voting. This, of course, is nothing much to do with Najib as the Malaysian PM voted into power, as the avenue of replacing him through the general elections will only be indirectly answered by the voting masses. It remains to be seen how I intend to position myself in time for the next general elections where support for Najib is concerned.

In the end, it is not for such interim efforts (on improving or ousting Najib) to be the key criteria for evaluating our conclusions and positions on his leadership. It is about how his leadership is executed ('performed', not 'killed'), and whether it brings about good for the Ummah – especially in the long run. We have every right to work towards our very best for the sake of Allah, and only after we have put in all efforts that we can possibly do, do we put our trust in Allah. For it is Him that determines all, figures of leadership included.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Ramadan Reflections – Day 4

By now many Malays would have heard about the Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Negara or MTEN report which is all about how dismal the Malays have performed economically, especially comparing to the other race(s) in Malaysia. The gamut of reaction ranges from blaming the UMNO Malay members to blaming UMNO Malay leaders. Well, in short, blaming UMNO and Malays. So here is my take on the issue, which is what will be writing about today.

Malays, UMNO and the Economy

I say: The failure of advancing the economic situation of the Malays in Malaysia is neither because of the Malays, nor is it because of UMNO.

Now, before any of you jump to the premature condition that I am blaming other races or other political parties, let it be clear that I am also saying that the failure of such is neither because of the Chinese, the Indians, MCA, MIC, DAP, PAS, PKR, PSM, other whatever race or political parties that you can think of existing in Malaysia.

So what is the failure due to?

The answer lies in what actually the Malays are, and that is, for the majority of them at least, that the Malays are Muslims. And if a Muslim does not submit to Allah in all spheres of their lives, including in the sphere of economics, they will fail. And they will fail miserably. In this world, and maybe in the hereafter. And they will fail, because Allah is giving them a chance, at least in this world, to learn of their mistakes and do the right thing. So that maybe if they fail, it is a form of an expiation of their mistakes, so that they are forgiven, correct themselves by doing the right things, and probably get it easy in the afterlife. But if they keep failing, and do not realise that they are failing because they are doing mistakes, and keep on repeating the mistakes, they will fail again. And again. And repeatedly again. Until they obstinately do such mistakes in pride, as an arrogant act of knowing defiance against Allah, then maybe Allah will no longer give them that chance of recovering from their mistake, and perhaps they will get worldly success, at the price of eternal damnation in the hereafter, or worse, terrible punishment inflicted on both this world and in the hereafter. Like personal shame and public disasters. And that is definitely worse.

Conversely, why are the other races, most notably the Chinese (in the Malaysian context), faring better in economy? The answer can easily be related to the above point. For the most part, the Chinese here are disbelievers. And the rules of Islam do not apply to them. If they do what they are best in doing in, in the field of making money, no matter that it is not compatible with Islamic rules, it does not matter. They will get what they work for. And boy, do they work for it. Morally or otherwise. So they are faring better, because they can do whatever it takes for them to win, economically that is. And they will not get the little reminders (failures) that Allah bestows to Muslims to correct themselves, because the disbelievers are generally left to their own devices. What they will pay for in the hereafter, that is for another story, another time, told by another person. But it will not be a pretty story. But we do not have to worry about them. Let them live their way of live, although we will continue to pray that they will be given the guidance to embrace Islam, and of course, do the right things, so that they will do better economically, than the other Muslims doing the wrong things. So that they truly deserve it. We, the existing Muslims, have to worry more about ourselves, to do the right things.

My answer above clearly makes my earlier title an irrelevant headline, so here is another title:

Muslims and the Economy

So the failure of Muslims (not only in Malaysia, but everywhere in the world) in advancing economically is basically down to them doing wrong things. What are the wrong things? If you know what I know, we have gone on the wrong path ever since we embraced or inherited the economic system of our former masters, the imperialist seculars (the British, et al) and continue to follow the same path that is forged by the world's current apparent economic superpower, the United States of America and Europe – the hegemonic Judo-Christian alliance. That economic system of theirs, for want of a better description, is based mostly on capitalism and fiat currency. Let's call it conventional economics. In conventional economics, we have fiat currency based on paper money produced on usury, we have banking systems based on usury (and don't get me started on 'Islamic' banking), we have stock & securities markets based on usury and gambling, we have monopolistic & taxed trading systems & structures far removed from fair trading practices of before, we have pursued artificial advancements for commercial gains whilst sacrificing the order and well-being of 'nature' (or rather, God's pre-ordained creations and way of living), and by doing all this we expect, as Muslims, to fare economically well towards a glorious civilization? You must be kidding me!

So the path that the 'Malays in Malaysia' (or Muslims anywhere) are currently taking economically, will only lead them towards further doom & gloom, and no amount of sugar-coating can prevent an otherwise imminent destination of destruction. Even if we are to gloss over the statistics that show us as empirically advancing in the economic sense (like the much touted GDP per capita, FDIs, etc.), the whole picture is that the Muslims in Malaysia are generally getting deeper in decline with the continued practice of conventional economics. Because it simple does not work for us as Muslims. It is incompatible with Islam. And because of this, we will continue facing failures. So that we can supposedly learn & recover from these mistakes. But are we? By the looks of the continued policies of our present administration, we are sadly not doing anything about it.

So when did this mistake in economics actually begin? It did not begin at the time of Najib. Neither did it begin at the time of Mahathir or any other post-Merdeka leaders we had. It is also not unique to just Malaysia. Muslims the world over have been slipping further into an economic abyss, aided by the conventional economics that they so much try to depend on. Fooled by this mistake promoted by the controlling secularists who moot it as a panacea to our economic ills, only to have us be subjugated further in their imperialistic desires to enslave a once high & mighty civilization. And therein lies the clue of an answer to this question. This grand error of the Muslims in economics began when we delved into the riba (usury)-based economics at the last days of the Ottoman Caliphate. It started with getting loans and lending on usury terms (with interest), to spend lavishly on material wants. For worldly pleasures or fame, or spurious pursuits of the empire. Soon after that, with the mistaken belief that this new-found usury economics could be a saviour of the embattled empire, it crumbled. As sure as clockwork, the price to pay for the believers, for ignoring the warning to avoid riba which otherwise will result in being at war with Allah & His Messenger , came to pass. And so it was since then that we are at a loss. And we have never recovered from it till today. And we will never recover, for as long as we mistakenly believe that this conventional economics is what will save the Muslims from continued regression.

Of course conventional economics works for the disbelievers. The same rules do not apply to them. In fact, their success is warped in that it only benefits one side but enslaves others. Think there are no losers in the usurious economic battle of ever rising inflation and bubbles? Think again! That is why wars and corruptions are ever prevalent in the nefarious system of conventional economics, to prop up the propaganda of prosperity enjoyed by those that partake in capitalism. But their apparent success will be limited to this world. And that is NOT what we, the Muslims, are after. We want success BOTH in this world and the hereafter. A balanced progress that will not require the sacrifice of some poor souls or pitiful states. So we have to play by our rules. Islamic rules. Not by theirs; not by the rules of the new world order.

The corollary of this writing is that, it is my belief that in this day and age, any apparently successful & wealthy Muslims (most typically referring to individuals calling themselves Muslims; not Muslims communities as a whole – those of which can be considered successful are few & far between, or maybe none) are actually 'lost' in a success without barakah. Like the many royals in the Gulf. Rich, maybe, but devoid of barakah. Just take a look at the Muslim community around them and tell me that their richness is doing any good to those people surrounding them. Even with all those wealth they can't solve the problem of Palestine. That shows that their wealth is mostly devoid of goodness. Perhaps only for preparing super-expensive pilgrimage packages, with some token conveniences to the poor, of course.

Having rant about all this mistakes, errors, and the deviance of conventional economics, so what is then the actual model of economy that works for the Muslims? Note again my mention of the Ottoman Caliphate. Again, therein lies a clue. Before the destruction of the Muslim Caliphate happened, we have generally been progressing well economically from the days of Prophet Muhammad to the last Caliphs. What is the commonality in economics for this era of economic progression? The answer is obvious. We had our own economic model, one that is now termed as Muamalat. Muamalat is the opposite of conventional/usurious-based/capitalist economics. The details of which can only be described in entirety in a separate and probably lengthy post (or by reference to other contributing authors on the subject matter). It was only when we abandoned Muamalat that we started to fail economically. In a big part because abandoning Muamalat by definition means embracing riba. And ever since, we have been on the losing side of the divine war which we cannot avoid, what more win.

The conclusion for today's writing is this: The Malays in Malaysia is failing economically because, as Muslims, we are not practising the Islamic way of economics, which is Muamalat. It actually does not matter that we are Malays (any Muslims regardless of their race, will fail in economics, if it is based on riba; just see the world over). It is not because of UMNO – any political party continuing the same path of conventional economics will face the same failures. And that, my dear reader, is the main reason why I am obliged to offer my services politically in Malaysia, to impart the knowledge and perhaps take action, on the true economic path that Muslims are supposed to follow, to achieve success in this world, and in the hereafter.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Ramadan Reflections – Day 3

I forgot my coffee for Suhoor this morning, so ideas are s-l-o-w a coming today. Will touch on a light topic for a general overview.

The Malaysian & the World

My assumption is that most Malaysians (and by Malaysians I am specifically referring to Muslims Malaysians, because that is the populace for which my ideas are mainly targeted at, and the ones that mostly matter; the rest should be Muslims as soon as they possibly can for their own sake) are living a life on auto-pilot where their citizenship to this country, in relation to the world, is concerned. What do I mean by auto-pilot? Many, especially the younger generation, have been born into this country in a state where Malaysia has already achieved it so called 'independence' in 1957 (with other appendages such as Sabah & Sarawak following suit soon after). Prior to that, of course, we were under British rule. That makes it about 58 years since anyone was born into a "Merdeka" Malaysia, and those that are still living into the 90s today were born in the 1920s. Do you know what happened in the 1920s? Since technically no one living today can probably recall it, let me just point it out that the Islamic Caliphate was abolished in the 1920s (officially in 1924) – when the Ottoman Empire made way for the Turkish Republic. So how is this all related to living on auto-pilot? Basically, the typical Malaysian is living as a citizen of Malaysia with all of its rules and regulations as a 'given'; one that they will live and die with; without the need to change anything. And that is wrong. Why? To understand this, I will have to summarise the concept of Islamic rule and state governance and relate it to my assertion of the typical Malaysian living (wrongly) on auto-pilot.

Firstly, the premise of being a Muslim is predicated on the Shahada. For many aspects of it in the personal sphere, there is nothing wrong with that whilst being a citizen of Malaysia. We can pray, we can fast, we can ostensibly pay Zakat and we can go to Hajj. However, if we just stop there, one cannot help but to think that why, being a perfectly personally practicable Muslim in Malaysia, that Muslims the world over by and large are not experiencing the best of our times? We are in fact facing immense insecurity in many aspects of the Muslim communal life that even puts at risk our right to become fully practicing Muslims in the personal sphere. Why is this so? The answer is because, the inherited system of state governance in Malaysia (and many other parts of the world in other Muslim countries), is based on a secular framework that separates personal and public aspects of governing from the people. This is by explicit design of the secular promoters. Look up the meaning of secular and you can see that it means 'a new order', or an order (of people) that is intent on making a distinction between 'religion' and 'a way of life' – primarily derived from the movement to separate the church from the state, but in actuality is an attempt to classify all divine decrees as compartmentalized religion, separate from a distinct set of orders made by humankind. As a result, although many aspects of personal 'religious freedoms' can be observed in secular constitutions which superficially recognizes theological ideologies , at the same time, many aspects of public life are governed in ways that are not compatible with Islam. The difference is, secularity attempts to accommodate the wants of the people according to the ages, whilst Islam dictates that you are to submit to Allah at all times, till the end of time. In other words, Malaysia (and many other so-called Muslim countries) is governed by a secular system, with a constitution that is incompatible with Islam.

What exactly are the incompatible aspects of public life in a constitutionally secular country such as Malaysia that are incompatible with Islam? Without going into specifics, among the main items are the system of economy (which is currently based on Riba) and the civil legal system (which is deprived of sharia-based observations). To relate to contemporary issues, there is already a degree of awareness and desire for non-riba currencies and the implementation of Hudud laws. As a Muslim, we are obliged to see that these incompatibilities are removed, for the simple reason that we must submit to Allah's command in totality. Nothing is above the sovereignty of Allah, and we must acknowledge that. To claim otherwise is blasphemy. So, if the typical Malaysian living on auto-pilot does not make an effort to re-engage control of their life to ensure that it is in full submission to Allah's rule, and worse, if they accept this way of Malaysian life as a given, which they presume will ensure their compliance in Islam to reach paradise, they will be in for a rude shock when they lie in the grave realising that they have been living a lie all this while. To be fair, most of those on auto-pilot are conditioned to think as such, because matters of public governance contravening the principles of Islam are not exactly explicitly spelled out in our education system. You cannot expect a person conditioned to label the colour of an orange fruit as blue to think otherwise; what more if they were only taught that it is an apple fruit. Therefore, the task of enlightened Muslims, who understand that this auto-pilot living is a lie, is arduous indeed, to not only instigate a true understanding of Islam as a complete way of life, but to also compel the people to regain control of their life and change it into something that works as a Muslim.

Secondly, I notably pointed out the abolishment of the caliphate in this post as a sticking point in this discussion. The reason is simple. We are blessed with the prophecies of the Messenger Muhammad that has given us solid ideas on how the future will play out for Muslims, especially in the end of times. The phases in the system of governance, or specifically, the rulers over Muslim Ummah, have already been predicted – from the early period of guided Caliphs, to Dynastic rule, to despots, and back to just (fair & rightly-guided) Caliphs. No points for figuring out that we are living in the age of despots (with the Ottoman Caliphate long gone), and we are heading into a future back to rule by just Caliphs. [Note: Do not confuse this with the issue of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (or ISIS, or just plain IS); which have yet to be proven/will ever be recognized, as a legitimate inheritor of true Islamic rule.] In this context of our prophesized state of the Ummah, an understanding Muslim will rightly know that Malaysia cannot exist forever as it is currently, for long, if we are to be among the successful Muslims ruled by the anticipated Caliphs. Changes will be required, especially in the system of governance, to one that is compatible with true Islamic rule. We may even perhaps, have to rethink our nation-state structure – from one that is 'independent' yet a member of the world-government-aspiring United Nations, towards preparing to be a subordinate state answering to the true Caliphate and all that it entails. Unless, of course, you decide to throw in the towel and give up (to the disbelievers), and let Malaysia remain secular, or worse, become a country more hostile to Islam & Muslims. So, the case of living on auto-pilot with no change of course will result in a destination of destruction, at least for Muslims/Islam in Malaysia. I for one am not in favour of that.

Which brings me to the conclusion of today's writing; one that relates to my noted struggles continuing from previous posts. As a Muslim in Malaysia, I have an objective of bringing about change in the way Malaysia is. To me, the incompatibilities (to Islam) of our constitution is to be removed in favour of a system of governance that will prepare us for the glorious return of Islamic rule. Only then, can we truly be totally in submission to Allah SWT, as he has commanded us to be, as the purpose of our creation. It will not be easy, but then again, earning one's place in paradise has never been guaranteed a walk in the park. Just look at the struggles of the Prophets. So help me God.



Friday, 19 June 2015

Ramadan Reflections – Day 2


To me politics has two aspects. On one hand, it can be a platform where select individuals serve the general populace, or citizens, from which the term politic is derived from. On the other, grouped into parties, and both within and without, it is a game played to see who can serve better. There is, of course, nothing wrong with these two aspects. The former is an act of selflessness, and the latter is a challenge in competitiveness that drives one to deliver his or her best (future reference that only identifies the masculine should mean to include both genders). The problem begins when, the position in politics, and its subsequent appointment to a public post, is accompanied by corrupt abuse for personal selfish gain, which more often than not is related to material interests or benefits. In other words, a politician who rises in rank and becomes an authority in some post, abuses the office he has been appointed to, in order to entrench his position to ensure continued dominance. In this case, the flaw becomes evident in both aspects: the individual now sees serving himself as a bigger objective than serving the public; and the game is played unfairly by breaking rules. More commonly than not, this twin flaw contributes towards a vicious downward spiral that sees the politician breaking more rules in order to retain his self-serving interests. And most unfortunately, more commonly than not, this is observed in the general political scenario in Malaysia, where all politicians from both sides follow this very predictable path to patheticalness.

It is for this reason that many among the masses see politics as something pungent, a pit of opportunists at the bottom pile of corrupt connivers. In a way, I do not disagree to that notion, but I do not blame the politicians who pervert their posts for being so either. It is a systemic flaw of the socio-economic composition, where the ever spiralling pressures of economic concerns will drive any person, not just politicians, into measures that no longer conforms to acceptable norms. In short, it is the outcome of a usurious (riba) based model of living. Rising costs, rising pressures, rising corruption. But that is a topic for a separate discussion. For now, how do we ensure that the role of the politician can be kept clean and welcoming? The answer is simple. Politicians must return to the roots of their raison d'être of serving people and trying their best in doing so, but with an important proviso: to do it for the sake of Allah. It is only if they keep in mind that their entire reason to be in politics is to please Allah (or their entire reason for being alive in the first place), that they will remain grounded and generally focused on their goals of truth. Unless of course, their incentive of being in politics is skewed from the very beginning. Like seeking commercial contracts. Those kind of politicians, nobody can help.

So coming back to the reason why I am writing this blog piece. Why am I in politics, and why is it important to me, and maybe even, why UMNO?

I am in politics because I want to serve the people. Of course, serving is a big word. It depends of what kind of service you wish to provide to the people. I have to be honest to say that I do not specialise in serving community service. Yes, there is nobility in the politicians that do that. But my speciality is different. I want to serve the people ideas, and perhaps even action plans on how to implement the ideas. Why ideas? Because of the knowledge I have. What kind of ideas? The way of thinking that is different from the given way of thinking. Specifically, it comes back to the socio-economic model. The way we are doing it, our economic model, is wrong. We are stuck in it, true, but (a) it does not make it right, (b) we do not have to be stuck in it forever, (c) there is a right way, (d) we have to introduce the right way, and (e) the future depends on the right way. Looking at the current administration of the day, Malaysia is indeed doing it wrong. I understand that Dato' Sri Najib is stuck in it and is trying to do things to improve the economy, but what is missing is trying to do it the right way. He is focusing on using the tools of the wrong economic model to improve the economy. Those measures are temporal and can only alleviate short term pain, but in the long run we are still descending into deeper depths of economic destruction. What he is not doing is to do it the right way, or introduce the right way of doing it. So that is why I am in politics. Because we need people to bring in ideas of doing the economy in the right way. And I am one of those people.

Politics per se is not important to me. But because of how the country works, and how my life has progressed, it is important for me to be in politics to serve the people. At the moment I do not see other options but for me to be a part of politics so that I can do what is important to me. And that is to serve the people with the right idea for our economy. And that is important to me because I am obliged to Allah who has bestowed me with this knowledge to do something about it. I just cannot sit on it and see civilisation crumbling. There is a brilliant future for Muslims, and it will not happen without getting our economic ideas right. It definitely will not happen if we continue in this course of conventional economics. In other words, politics is important to me because I have to use it to serve Allah. That is pretty much it.

And finally for today's writing. Why UMNO? Let me get straight to the point. In the game of politics, UMNO works for me because of who I am. For others, it may be PAS, or maybe even PKR. Although, for yet others who share the same aspirations as me, I would not see being in DAP, MCA or MIC any good. Let us leave those parties for those who disbelieve in Allah. Nevertheless, whatever political party chosen, at the end of the day, it is only a platform. Any such parties should not be taken as the divine authority of politics, and yes, that is a direct swipe at some people who think only PAS politicians can make it to paradise. But do not take me wrong, I have nothing against PAS as a political party. Perhaps I would even seek cooperation with PAS members if it comes to that, but that is another topic for another writing. Conversely, I am not saying UMNO is the best either. Given its prolonged position in power helmed by people who have less altruistic intentions, I even dare say it is the most corrupted party. But it does not change the fact that I currently see UMNO as the party that will most likely work in allowing me to do what is important to me. Though things may change, and nothing is set in stone. Furthermore, politicians come and go. Najib is here today but will not remain there forever. The UMNO of the future may be different, but it will depend on who takes up the challenge of changing it for the better. And that is why I am here. To play a better game in serving the people.




Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ramadan Reflections – Day 1


Ramadan is here again, and it is the best time for me churn out my creative writing juices because I prefer to remain awake after Suhoor till Zuhr. Mainly because sleeping after a full meal is not a recommended option, but also because it is the most productive time of the day and it will be wasted if spent on menial tasks such a routine work-related jobs or never-ending home chores, both of which can be pushed forward for the times when my brain functions at reduced rates. So the better part of the morning will be best for me to dedicate the time to produce articles of a varied nature, ranging the span of my interests. As the list of subject matter that I can potentially cover is numerous, I'll entitle it with headers such as Politics, Economy, Miscellaneous, etc. as appropriate; to aid the reader to identify what to read, if ever. Well, here goes.



It has been a while since I have been active in UMNO activities. Subsequent to my declaration of intent to move my registered Bahagian from Setiawangsa to Putrajaya in the Persidangan Perwakilan Pemuda UMNO Bahagian Setiawangsa 2014, I have mostly refrained from participating in any activities organized. I did initiate contact with the relevant Ketua Pemuda (KP) UMNO Cawangan in UMNO Bahagian Putrajaya to effect my transfer, but after an initial impromptu invitation to a Cawangan event by the KP which I missed, there were no further communications. Since I am in no hurry myself, I will probably get in touch again with the KP in due time to ensure my pending transfer is made good. I am unfortunately still listed as the KP UMNO Cawangan Bukit Setiawangsa in the roll call for 2015, for which I missed out on organising the year's Persidangan Pemuda UMNO Cawangan Bukit Setiawangsa due to logistical issues. Seeing that I cannot really serve the area so far removed from my physical base, it made no sense either to keep up pretences of the Pemuda UMNO being active and alive in UMNO Cawangan Bukit Setiawangsa. Oh well, I am sure the Ketua UMNO Cawangan Bukit Setiawangsa can make suitable arrangements in my absence.

So how is all this of interest to UMNO members (especially Pemuda UMNO) or other political followers? No doubt, someone, somewhere, out there is watching my movements after the initial foray of my bid to become Ketua Pemuda UMNO Malaysia. As it stands, the basis of my bid still remains relevant, in that Pemuda UMNO is still not putting forth an agenda for the youth that will safeguard our future, at least economically. Notwithstanding that I still owe the current Ketua Pemuda UMNO the gist of this agenda that I intend to put forward (I made a personal promise to Khairy), it is very disheartening to see the youth leadership of the political party that is UMNO—from which the governing administration of Malaysia is mainly formed—still lacks the vision and mission for the future generation. The burden of knowledge in how the economic agenda of the Muslims ought to be transformed for our promised future is indeed weighing on me, but a lone effort gets nowhere fast, and I am still struggling to prepare a concise plan to elucidate the ideas.

Coming back to the relevance of this rambling, my plan is thus to first officiate the move from Bahagian Setiawangsa to Bahagian Putrajaya. Then to see how I fit in and further my ideas accordingly. Probably build a support base along the way. And come 2016 when UMNO elections are due, I will reconsider my options. After all, if no one (in UMNO, at least) is doing it (helping shape the future of our generation), then someone needs to do it. "Sufficiency duty" or fardh al-kifāya, as they call it.

The above is, of course, an agenda mainly personal in nature – a speck in the larger picture of turmoil currently ongoing in UMNO; where the undercurrents of the grassroots are increasingly surging against the top echelon, with our embattled UMNO President Najib cutting a lone figure going on the defensive in the ongoing scandal-wrecked 1MDB fiasco. Intellectual critics like me are not easily fooled by the various non-answer drivels diverting from the main issues. I will explore this matter in another reflection, but with an attempt to offer objective actions rather than just blabbing more blame. After all, this is Ramadan, and I must try to account all such efforts in a way that bring blessed benefits, not sinful insinuations.


Till the next post.