In Search of #puteriChampa

September 18, 2017


Selamat Hari Malaysia 

September 16, 2017

A Community Leader asked this Question

Talking about Malaysia day, does any of us feel any different except it is a holiday I wonder?????


Change comes from within; from each individual, from each community, from citizenry. 

We are community builders. 

Our urban community is so diverse. We find great joys in getting community together. Celebrating Malaysia Day is so joyful despite our differences. We are not running political campaign. We don’t look for small differences and make them transcendent like full time politicians running campaign. We do the opposite. 

We find common grounds, minimise differences and hopefully make changes within, and in government for a better nation.

September 13, 2017

My dear professors and the knowledgeables,

I’m now having bfast by the bank of the tonle sap river Phnom Penh. A 3 day Backpacking break, alone. 
As an orangNusatara It is a deep concern to me that young Malaysians r not travelling. A majority of graduates I interviewed has not stepped out of the borders. The seafaring Malays are now reduced to being docile land lubbers. 
ASEAN, the nusantara is ours. It is our market. Without understanding the context by being where it matters no amount of e commerce brilliance can conquer the market. You will not understand the suffering of the Cambodians or the kiasuness of Singaporeans or the challenges of being a Malay in Thailand, or the gridlock outside makati, if u stay put in the comfort of your home. 
Please, in your lectures and in designing your curriculum include the virtues of travel.

In search of #puteriKemboja

September 12, 2017

My dear brother Nadzru Azhari has been laying claims that part of the nusantara is binded together by the budu, even coining a term the Budu Crescent. 

Having tasted the Cambodian amok I now connected the dots of the Chams in us all, in the nusantara people; botok, otakOtak, ha Mok Pla and the Cham amok. It is not the budu. 

As I checked into this beautiful boutique hotel, I was greeted by a charming Princess. We were discussing about tours for tomorrow. “But sir I’m going back to kampong Cham tomorrow” . 

“I’m going to go along with you” I replied. 
Je n’ai pas le bon courage (in this case it means luck as well as courage, hehehe.) 

I would certainly have found my Puteri Kemboja had I possessed both.

My Nusantara 

September 11, 2017

The world traveller that I am, I learned to embrace and appreciate the nusantara from my Bibik. 

It was about 20 years ago, when she accompanied us to the morning market at BATU PAHAT. The Bibik just joined us for a month and we wanted to show her around.
At the market I was so astonished that she knew so many people. 
“Tu orang kampong Saya PAk. Kami orang Bengkalis lihat Batu Pahat Dan muar macam pergi Ke Pekan saja. Kan dekat cuma 30km ”
That struck me! My Bibik was more worldly than me! 
The following week I bought a ticket to Jakarta, to find it as fascinating as Paris. Then there was Dumai where I found the biggest CALTEX in a settlement bigger than N9. A piece of US 30km FM BATU PAHAT.
More to follow and I fell in love with SEA. And 20 years later still a lot more to discover in SEA.

Reclaim the Title Ulama, dear professors 

September 8, 2017

I was once a faculty member of a QS ranked Malaysian university. With that credential in my past life, I’m privileged to be a member of a WA group of its alumni of professors and the knowledgeables. 

This morning there was a chatter on the use of the title professor by a Cendol seller. 

I posted the following 

Professors are the ilmuan, the knowledgeable(s), accredited, respected and be the source of references on subjects of their expertise. 

In the language of the Quran, the knowledgeable(s) have a special title, ULAMA; God fearing subject matter experts of the rain, the sky, fruits, colours, creatures, livestock earth tracts etc. 

Professors are the true ULAMA. 

Unfortunately Muslim Professors let others to hijack that title. We now have stand up comics, comedians, talk show artists, half past six subject matter experts, televangelist using that tittle. 

I strongly support these efforts to reclaim what is truly yours. Go on guys, train your guns on the right targets. You hv one serious supporter and cheer leader here.

Nadzru Azhari’s piece on Hijra and Emigrants #archived4posterity

September 4, 2017

My dear brother Nadzru Azhari wrote the admirable text, Tributes to Hijrah and Emigrants. He wrote : 

“I wrote the piece from my heart, from heart to keyboard . I just want to express the universalism of a religion and humanity , for us to get out from daily events to the bigger challenge of period sustainability”.

“Nothing happens when I am sedentary but when I leave any of my three residences things simply happen which amuse me. God has so much in favour of the wayfarer and the one who is most times in the caravansèrail. Ibn Khaldun felt that civilisation stops and the Faith crumbles upon sédentarisation. Both Imam Shafie and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal reckon that what they wrote on The Hadeeth and arguments on Fiqh lose meaning upon society not physically moving.

However, when we leave our homes , it is not to abandon them in dejection and abject failure , as others will immigrate in to replace us , for they may do better and be more competitive. We must always be on our Silk Road. We should never talk and dwell on the repeated obvious and the place of sameness.

Regionalization and globalization are not new to us. It comes with our Faith, for it came ‘strange’ and we must always keep ourselves always at the ‘fringes’ , at the point of challenge and expansion of our faith and societies.

We must master the art of making ourselves understood in the vernacular of those whose hearts we want to endear.

We must have an inbuilt instinct of ‘imperialism’ and the need to expand, to emigrate and to consolidate and keep sharing in peaceful coexistence , so doing, stooping to conquer, while not oppressing.

Brothers and sisters, it is these three verses that made Ali Bin Abi Taleb said and quoted in Nahj Al-balaghah , ‘Oh Prophet, when in the battle in defense of my Faith , I am butchered to more parts than the sum total, please, let me pray to God, make me live, LIVE to keep serving thy cause.’ Ali never prepared for death in peaceful retirement doing the routine day in and day out in a sameness like the cockerel ‘s crow at the crack of dawn.”

Almighty Allah  revealed the following to humanity 
اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ تَوَفّٰٮهُمُ الۡمَلٰٓـئِكَةُ ظَالِمِىۡۤ اَنۡفُسِهِمۡ قَالُوۡا فِيۡمَ كُنۡتُمۡ​ؕ قَالُوۡا كُنَّا مُسۡتَضۡعَفِيۡنَ فِىۡ الۡاَرۡضِ​ؕ قَالُوۡۤا اَلَمۡ تَكُنۡ اَرۡضُ اللّٰهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوۡا فِيۡهَا​ؕ فَاُولٰٓـئِكَ مَاۡوٰٮهُمۡ جَهَـنَّمُ​ؕ وَسَآءَتۡ مَصِيۡرًا ۙ‏ 

(4:97) While taking the souls of those who were engaged in wronging themselves, the angels asked: ‘In what circumstances were you?’ They replied: ‘We were too weak and helpless in the land.’ The angels said: ‘Was not the earth of Allah wide enough for you to emigrate in it? For such men their refuge is Hell – an evil destination indeed;
اِلَّا الۡمُسۡتَضۡعَفِيۡنَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَآءِ وَالۡوِلۡدَانِ لَا يَسۡتَطِيۡعُوۡنَ حِيۡلَةً وَّلَا يَهۡتَدُوۡنَ سَبِيۡلًا ۙ‏ 

(4:98) except the men, women, and children who were indeed too feeble to be able to seek the means of escape and did not know where to go .-
فَاُولٰٓـئِكَ عَسَى اللّٰهُ اَنۡ يَّعۡفُوَ عَنۡهُمۡ​ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ عَفُوًّا غَفُوۡرًا‏ 

(4:99) maybe Allah shall pardon these, for Allah is All-Pardoning, All-Forgiving.
وَمَنۡ يُّهَاجِرۡ فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ يَجِدۡ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ مُرٰغَمًا كَثِيۡرًا وَّسَعَةً​ ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّخۡرُجۡ مِنۡۢ بَيۡتِهٖ مُهَاجِرًا اِلَى اللّٰهِ وَرَسُوۡلِهٖ ثُمَّ يُدۡرِكۡهُ الۡمَوۡتُ فَقَدۡ وَقَعَ اَجۡرُهٗ عَلَى اللّٰهِ​ ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِيۡمًا‏ 

(4:100) He who emigrates in the way of Allah will find in the earth enough room for refuge and plentiful resources. And he who goes forth from his house as a migrant in the way of Allah and His Messenger, and whom death overtakes, his reward becomes incumbent on Allah. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate”.