Surah Isra 

October 23, 2017

If one wishes to learn what TAQWA is, what being righteous is, then Surah Isra’ is the best and my favourite Surah. There is a verse on the time for performing Solat zuhur Solat subuh and Solat tahajud. Also the dua’ for Tahajud. 
Instead of asking other Muslims whether they pray or fast or does the umrah we can be better of if measure others especially our leaders whether they honour commitments, wallop other ppls properties, or properties of orphans, help wayfarers, help the needy, not cheat on measures, dispense justice, caring for parents, not to be spendthrift. All these righteous acts are contained in this Surah Isra’ 
The other stories/fables as often recited to us from other sources about Isra miraj are la Hasanul.

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Visit to The Eastern Edge of Nusantara 

September 28, 2017

I was in Manila the last 3 days, my first ever. My first impression was the swaying coconut palms and the strong winds. It was so perplexing to me, that on arrival at ninoAquino, at the next carousel were a plane load of Muslims returning from the Hajj. This is the eastern edge of the Malay Archipelago, the blue ocean frontiers. At the eastern shore is The Pacific. Further to the East is the land of the Incas, the Americas. 
In between my business meetings, I hired a guide to take me around the Spanish walled city Intramurros. No Makati no go go bars for me. 
The settlement was built on the ruin of the seat of power of the defeated Raja Sulaiman’s Kingdom. It overlooks and control the Pasig River and the Manila Bay, a strategic location indeed. 
The ruin and the city taught me the history of the other Malays which I have not been privy to; about those subjected to the Conquestedors, the discrimination, the inquisition. 
At one entrance was the mural of St Augustine slaying Muslims, thus the name St Augustine the MataMoros, the killer of Muslims. Had it happened in the current century he would have been put on trial for crime against humanity.
Not many realised that the Moors or Moros of the east, never gave up the fight. The war between the present government and the Moros have lasted more than 500 years and counting. 
I also learned about Jose Rizal who tried to bring back some dignity to his people. It was the courage to challenge the Church that cost him his life.
It is significant that till now in the Philiphines the walled city still exists, the wall that separates the elites from the masses, being symbolised by the Intramurros. 
On reflection, I felt some deep gratitude to Raffles for demolishing The walled city of Malacca. With the demolition of Kota Melaka, it demolished the wall of the Malay world I have been part of, the wall between the elites and the masses, the wall between the conqueror and the conquered. It set the Malays free, to be the true way farers and seafarers that they were. With the wall gone, gone I hope is the burden of segregation, subjugation and discrimination.
I noticed how americanised the Filipinos are, yet so conservative and Deeprooted the many practices they inherit from the Spanish. 
I could sense the resentment in my guide’s sense of history. Proudly she was showing her Malay tattoo, her claim to her Malay roots. Nadzru Azhari

 

Back in my hotel room, I watched the popular President Duerte cajoling his fellow citizens (120 million) to break free from drug lords , from the elites, from the Americans… in half American English and in Tagalog.


Lesson in SEA geopolitics 

September 25, 2017

My last visit to pp was a wonderful lesson in South East Asia geopolitics. I hv always been wondering why Cambodia has been kind to the chams with the exception of Pol Pot. I saw the space given to the chams by Sihanouk and Hun Sen. To the new Cambodia ASEAN is a saviour. MALAYSIA and Indonesia is the needed wright to counter Vietnam and Thailand. The plundering and aggression has kept Cambodia in turmoil for centuries after the fall of champa. Champa thrived when majapahit was strong. It thrived when Che Bong Nga capitalised on his strength in diplomacy, having the wisdom to engage the powerful Ming Emperors.


Lesson in History- South China Sea 

September 25, 2017

The history of the great Champa King Che Bong Nga is well chronicled in the Chinese and Vietnamese records. I also discovered an Indonesian book which is historically more accurate rather than folkloric and oral. 
There are many attempts to hijack the champa history. The Indonesian Chinese version claim that Puteri Champa was Chinese while the Habibs and Syed’s claim to be Arabic. 
The greatest losers are the Vietnamese. I’m referring to the ongoing overlapping claims of the SCS. Had they embraced the champa history, their claim of the SCS could hv been strengthened. Before the Ming changed the name of the to SCS, the cauldron was known as LAUT CHAMPA.


When I was 15

September 24, 2017

It was always a pleasure to meet my buddy Mohd Tahir Kassim . He was among the first few friends I made on my first day in that THE Boarding School, 44 years ago. (And Which We never leave)
His bed was next to mine in Dorm 10. There were 10 of us on the Overflow of the BigSchool. Mine was nearest to the door and window overlooking the scenic and legendary Padang. 
Our earthly possession then was in a 2.5x2x3 ft locker. In addition we own stuff which we need to display for Saturday morning inspection; a toothbrush/paste, a soap box, a towel, a pair of sports shoes, a pair of black leather shoes, a pair of bathroom sleepers and a pair of sandals. 
It was compulsory to have mosquito nets, hanging over our bed. It will be lowered at night and regimentally and neatly tucked up during the day. Beside the toilet ,that was the only privacy we had, the privacy of the mosquito nets. Our showers had no doors. (Our secrets remained within the confine of the mosquito nets)
White Bed sheets and white pillowS were to be neatly stretched every morning before the start of class. Any wrinkly bed sheet or dirty towel or empty soap box would mean CONFINEMENT or Detention Class or DC. Goatee was a Big NO #bigschool #mckk #bigtree


Need for skills in handling multicultural communities 

September 22, 2017

In PJ this week a video of a man in robe,  headgear and Islamic beard backed by his equally attired friends was seen giving notice to people in a restaurant to not drink, no taking of drugs, no revealing clothes. It set The little birds and nameless faces  busy giving comments on encroachment of rights and even saw it as intimidation. 

 His intent may be good, and I trust he is a good man but he lacks the skill of engaging a multicultural multi religious society. Without the right skills such a situation can become explosive and exploitable. 
He is not alone, in this lack of skills. Even last week one JPININ senior officer admitted the challenges of the JABATAN PERPADUAN the need for skilling his officers. The PJ Flora apartment is notorious and degrading in terms of safety, cleanliness and social ills. If civil societies and NGO’s fail to jointly play their role these guys in robes will step in as in the case here. 
To move forward @⁨Eric Chew San⁩ perhaps JPNIN can step in to empower the community and NGO’s in this particular settlement.


An imam from Champa

September 19, 2017

On my way back from PP I was seated next to a Cham. He was a Hafiz employed as an Imam. An imported Imam. It reminded me of the many temple which import priests from India. The concept of Imam is now reduced to rituals just like the Brahmin priests. the Brahmins preserved the BG, so say the hindus. 
The Imam reminded me of my late father. My father was an imam of the masjid. He was not paid any salary. He had a full time job. He was not a Hafiz but he led a quranic life. He was a leader of the community.