Open Letter to Malaysian regarding Hindraf Issue



   Assalamualaikum and Very Good Day to All,

                                As expected, our Barisan Nasional government have fully capitalized the issue to the extreme. I totally condemn the usage of Internal Security Act (ISA) against Hindraf leaders in this matter due to the denial of free and fair trial upon them because base on track records of ISA, none of the detainess had received any trial prior of their relesase.

                                I just would like to call every sane Malaysian to think deeply by analyzing this issue thoroughly not merely base on uncontrolled sentiment that has been fired in all cylinders by the government owned media. What you are facing currently is what we called ‘Political Propaganda’ to capitalise the issue to the fullest especially among the Malays.

                                No body likes violence on the streets or whatever it may be from. But to inflate the sentiment like never before is indeed an evil work of the Devil. Now, I would like to call upon all Malaysians to uphold your sane mind to analyze the issue not as a Malay, Chinese or Indian but as a human being. Surely the grievances of the Indians in our country that have been chanelled by Hindaf are not as simple as challenging the authority or purposely done to destabalize the country as what have been alleged by our corrupted Barisan Nasional government.

                                The issue of Indian’s society in Malaysia is no fantasy nor a hyperbole reality. The problems are there and exist in various means. They too suffer not because of the Malays are better off than them but they suffer under the grip of a small group of capitalist that govern and controlled corridor of power in this country. This capitalist can never be identified through racial identity. They are driven by the greed of wealth and power when they are in power in the expenses of normal people like us.

                Now I’m here not going to give my 100% support upon Hindraf as a whole but as I have mentioned before in my previous entry, as a human being who lay helpless upon my Creator, Justice upon any races is a must in what ever circumstances this country may be.  Only with Justice through uncorrupted judicial system this country will be safe than before.

                We have to be very aware that all those media bombardments to Hindraf by exaggerating the issues are pure class propaganda from Barisan Nasional government. They are trying very hard in whatever means to cripple the rising spirit of Malaysians who want justice in this very undemocratic system that we currently have.

Remember the election is just around the corner and Hindraf has been turn around to be their stepping tone to secure important votes from the majority of the ‘on the fence’ Malay voters in upcoming general election as BERSIH has dampen Barisan Nasional credibility by exposing their fiasco ranging from the dirty Rashid’s electioneering system to Lingam’s judicial cases.  They are very desperate and Hindraf has proven to be the antidote to rub down the wound for now.

                The real deal is the Indian and the Malay voters. The Chinese is already known to be a smart voter. To my Indian brother, I do share your plight for a better life and resentment towards injustices that your people have experienced through out the times. Hindraf maybe have become the scapegoat and your leadership have fallen under the grip of the capitalist nonetheless you still hold the truth about your people’s plight because you are the one who feels it. Now, I would like to beg your consience to mobilize your people to understand the real issue and not to over react in any means, time and place.

Let us cool off our heads and start to unite with other races political, and NGO leaders to discuss this potent issue rationally. They might have won the battle, but the war is not over yet.  Your vote means so much to change the status quo of your people. Be smart and decisive in choosing friends. If you can equip your people with bravery to mobilize Hindraf, I am surely believe you too can mobilize the Indians to vote the right candidate for this upcoming election.

                As to the Malays, we should never be trapped under the guise of racism in analyzing the current situation. We might have been experiencing 13th May with the Chinese due to extremism of thought from both sides but the root cause of this problem is truly lies upon racial segregration and the inequality that has been created by our colonial master, British.  Maybe Hindraf have place a wrong foot over the line that has been drawn nonetheless we should never dismiss their grievances totally.

A reasonable man judge fairly, unbiased and truthful. We should remember how the episode of our beloved Prophet Muhammad companion, Saidina Ali R.A  and the Jew who stole his armor. It has been stated how the Muslim judge acted fairly upon the Jew who purposely stole the armor of Ali.  Since Saidina Ali could not prove the armor was his even though he deeply know that the Jew stole his armor, the judge rule out the case in favour of the Jew. That is how Justice being done and later on the Jew embraced Islam due to his recognition upon justice Islam gave to him in the trials.

                As a Muslim, like what PAS and fellow Muslim NGOs have shown, we will never express our racial bigotry towards anybody.  Our struggle is purely base upon the values which we championed by all religion and races: Justice and Fairness. Who ever is wrong will deem to be guilty. Who ever is right even though he is a Jew must be treated fairly. The detainment of Hindraf leaders prove to be a violation of human rights if they are being detained without trial that has been prescribed in the Islamic teaching. Therefore, we should cry for justice in this matter to let those detainees to be tried fairly in court and if they prove to be guilty of their sedition action than do as what have been underlined under our rules and regulations.

                Last but not least, let us not be blinded with this Hindraf episode for a larger cause which is the general election next year. Let us hold our hands together as Malaysian and give our best to change this country from corrupted regime to a better one. We have been long enough giving them chances to lead this nation and they manage to provide them peace and security in expenses of our numbness to detect their violation of power upon our people for their greater interest. How can we let them live like a King and Queen while there are still people who eat snails for lunch and millions of middle class people suffers with a chaotic hidden economis suppression syndrome? Now, its time for a change and the best way under the sun is through voting for your best candidate in upcoming general election. Peace.


Five lessons we can learn from the history of Malaysia, from Merdeka to the present day.

By rausyanfikir ( this article was written for an essay competition which I won consolation prize for it)

On 31 August 2007, Malaysia will celebrate her half-century birthday with prosperity and a colourful progressive society. Many would say history does not have a place in this cyber age, especially to the youth. Maybe this happened due to our fast pace changing world that requires us to look forward always rather than the past. Alas, I do not agree with that. George Santayana, a famous historian has a great saying about history, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.1 I believe in him and due to that, I position myself as a neo-age social activist to analyze five great lessons from history of Malaysia. The subjects are racial based politics, the highly-debatable New Economic Policy, freedom of youth activism, Islam and the role of other religions in promoting national unity and common goal as the hidden strength for Malaysians that need to be addressed as a reminder and catalyst in our journey to be a ‘Greater Malaysia’ in 2020.

I think one of the most sophisticated culturaltj pluralism nations in the world would be my own country, Malaysia. The diversity of our culture can be seen through the lenses of different races like Malay, Chinese, Indian and Indigenous people. The diversity is seen as a positive resource and not a difficulty or a barrier as Malaysia’s brand of multi- culturalism is based on an integrative model (Abdullah and Pedersen 2003). One lesson should be learnt by all Malaysians on this diversity would be racial based politics can go nowhere without cohesion and synergy between respective sides in giving the best for the citizen. For me, the most powerful period when we can observe clearly how unity can be achieved in total diversity was during the road to nationhood way back during pre-independent period even though some academicians referred that as ‘Bargain of 1957’ (Yap 2005). The spirit of nationhood was characterized by a sense of goodwill and racial tolerance and, despite the existence of racial and geographical polarization (Hock 1991). However, that was long time ago. The merry of independent had turned ugly when 13 May 1969 incident occurred. Despite the economic growth in the sixties, disparities in income and unemployment rate increased and the economic inequalities came to be perceived along ethnic lines (Yap 2005, Hock 1991). Communist influence was also another evident factor in this crisis, which continues from previous minor clashes along the years before (Rahman 1969). We, human being are usually crisis oriented and basically reactive towards it. People tend to react to any crisis when it threatens to upset or destroy the status quo and quite often, they only react after the process of destruction has already begun (Hock 1991). The crisis was sparked by extreme communal politics and they sure did not consider the terrible consequences out of it in the first place.

Personally, I see the “white man’s burden” quest solely relied on the greed for wealth. The theory of comparative advantage by Adam Smith4 could be seen in Malaya when most of the mining, and rubber industry were being outsourced to the best people who could do that which are the Chinese and Indian. Despite the wealth, the only return we could get were disparity and polarization between the multi-racial society in Malaysia, which served as the best recipe for conflict, violence and disaster (Kaur 2001). Whether we live in a single ethnic society or ‘melting pot’ like ours, one lesson we can learn from the past would be distribution of wealth with proper planning is very crucial to avoid national crisis. Thanks to our visionary leaders like Tun Abdul Razak, the aftermath of 1969 crisis had given birth to the New Economic Policy (NEP). NEP was formed to create the socio-economic conditions for improved ethnic relations by reducing poverty and “restructuring society” to eliminate the identification of race with economic function, especially through state intervention to accelerate the growth of Malay business and professional communities (Jomo 1989). So how does NEP fare today? Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi in recent UMNO assembly stated the failure of NEP was caused by poor attitude of the Malays (Berita Harian 2006). I could not deny there were still some successes being brought by the policy to our country notably the nationalization of our Oil and Gas industry that rise from the impetus of NEP. Starting with capital worth RM10 million given by the government, PETRONAS has become a multinational company spanning over 34 different countries around the world and is the leading source of income for the nation, spearheading industrialization and regional development (Hashim 2004). It proves NEP is not a total failure but in dire need for protection to avoid abuses in implementation to ensure that, the real priority is achieving, rather than undermining national unity (Jomo 1996).

My dad said, 1970’s-era students were more dynamic and patriotic thus many of the student leaders have become Ministers in the government. I agree with his statement. As a youth in the 21st century, I can see there are many loopholes for my generation to continue the legacy of producing national leaders at tertiary education level thanks to unilateralism meritocracy2 and the controversial University Act3 as the obstacles to produce vibrant leaders like Tun Dr Mahathir. The act was handed to ensure our student focus on their study rather than doing street demonstration, nonetheless the act is ‘killing’ our youth activism spirit, which my MTV generation clearly depicts today. I was so shocked to read the recent Malaysian Youth Index report in the newspaper about the state of Malaysian youth. They are passive, ignorant and selfish when it comes to national issue. We have seen before without the act, former student leaders of the past had turned out to be high-ranking government officers and our current Prime Minister was one of the quality products before the implementation of the act. Universiti Teknologi Mara Centre for Asean Studies fellow, Umminajah Salleh shared her view that, she was confident Malaysian youth would rise to the occasion if given the chance by those in authority. She said youth had the potential to lead and make a mark in civil society or even in the political scenario, if they were given the faith, the trust and the chance to show their prowess (News Strait Times 2006). I think it is better for the authority to abolish the University Act and draw a proper guideline that guarantees the lifeline of creativity, bravery and patriotism for Malaysian youth. From that experience, we should learn the importance to galvanize our youth to be more responsible towards our nation. It is still not too late to revive the driving force of the past for future glory of our country under the banner of Malaysian-mould democracy.

Islam is synonymous to Malaysians of the past and today. Tunku Abdul Rahman was the founder of the current Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), which now currently being presided by our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir’s outspoken policy towards Western hegemony in Muslim world was enough to prove our role in Islamic issues at the International scene. Locally, Islam holds a special place in Malaysian constitution as stated in Article 3 (Federal Constitution 2006), and majority of the people are Muslims. One lesson we need to learn from here would be Islam and any other religions are very hard to be ignored by all Malaysians due to its role in promoting national unity of our people. When you talk about national unity, most of us would be relying upon external factors to deal with it such as equality in economic distribution, social justice and cohesiveness in politics. Rarely religion plays a leading role to promote the solution and understanding for Malaysian in our path to national unity. I am not surprise with the situation we are facing today because the mould of our political, economic and social point of view has never been emphasis greatly through religious scope. Be it in Islam, or any other religions. This is our weak point. In a forum entitled Racial Unity: Religion Plays an Important Role that was conducted by Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM), Professor Khoo Kay Kim single out that Malaysian need to be given a thorough explanation about religion. He commented that it was true many of non-Muslim do not really understand about Islam. This has caused some sort of uneasiness whenever issues regarding polygamy, apostasy, unclear status of Muslim converts to highly debatable kongsi raya issue being raised by the media. Clearly from all of the above controversies that have surrounded Islam, Malaysian need to buck up the understanding of religious matter in order to reinforce back one of the principle in Rukun Negara which is believed in God. Whether the issue is an Islamic one or related to other religions, all of us need to gear up ourselves based on our purely religious teaching to find the commonalities and resolving the conflicts that has been plaguing our society for long enough.

We have gone into torrid times as Malaysian in the past and we too, have achieved success by being a Malaysian. Whenever we enjoy our country’s success, we will always refer it to be everybody success. Rarely seen in the mass media where those successes were anointed to a particular race in Malaysia. Therefore, I consider this as another precious lesson, which came through solidarity in achieving common national goal, is our true strength to national unity. I think this lesson can be best viewed through our sports scene in Malaysia. I have never seen any team in Malaysia whether they are competing locally or internationally with only one race participating in it. When we see our squash darling, Nicole David whom also a daughter of an inter-racial marriage parents achieving sporting glory, we are proud that she is a Malaysian. It is her success as an individual but yet she tributes the success as a Malaysian’s one. To push my idea further, I would like to quote one of the most outspoken Opposition members, Lim Kit Siang in one of his speech in Penang during the 1997-98 financial crisis:

I believe that Malaysians regardless of race, religion or party differences can rise up to the challenge to unite and put the national interest above everything else if they are taken into the full confidence of the government about the full facts of the national economic crisis and the remedies necessary to overcome it (Siang 1999)

Rhetoric or not, at least he has shown his commitment to protect our nation from such disaster by collaborating with the government for the betterment of all Malaysians. I guess our motto ‘Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu’, which means ‘Unity is Strength’, really played its part in all of our success as a Malaysian.
We have come across five of many more lessons that we can learn from our rich history. None of them will be useful if we submerge ourselves with the past glory and sidelining the untold future. We have glorified our past leaders for their quality leadership but all of them were still representing our past. According to Saidina Ali5, one of the closest companions of Prophet Muhammad, “if you want to see the future leader of a nation, look upon their youth.” Also another great commentary by Vandana Shiva6, during her famous anti-globalization rally in Seattle:

The first globalization was colonialism and it lasted 50 years. The second globalization was so called development and it lasted 50 years. The third globalization was free trade and it only lasted 5 years and since Seattle, we are now into 4th globalization which is people’s globalization which theorized as ‘globalization from below’.

I could not agree more with them. It is my generation will be shaping the things to come. Human factor has never been so important than before. I am sure our Prime Minister will agree with Saidina Ali and Vandana Shiva statements and that it is why he really emphasis ‘Human Capital Development’ as the driving factor for our nation progress in 15 years time before the D-Day of 2020.

End notes

  1. This quotation has been repeated in almost every pages of form 5 history text book. It will be sad if the students were found to be ignorant about it.
  2. According to our meritocracy system, student who score more A’s will be eligible to entitle scholarship and securing a place to study any local universities. Let say the passing requirement is 7A’s. A fisherman’s son got 6A’s while a doctor’s daughter got 7A’s. Based on the system, the doctor’s daughter will get the reward even though the fisherman’s son is more deserving for it. It is not a fair system due the socio-economic factor of students in Malaysia are not the same.
  3. Popularly known as AUKU in its Bahasa acronym. Obstructing freedom of expression for the students to voice their concerns and opinions. Lambasted by Opposition parties as it curtails the activism spirit of the youth
  4. Adam Smith was considered as the father of free market by many and his comparative advantage theory is being used in today’s complex international trade system between nations.
  5. Alī ibn Abī ālib (599661) was an early Islamic leader and fourth Caliph. He is revered by Sunni Muslims as the last of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs and as a foremost religious authority on the Qur’an and Islamic jurisprudence. Shi’a Muslims consider him the First Imam appointed by the Prophet Muhammad and the first rightful caliph. Ali was the cousin of Muhammad, and after marriage to Fatima Zahra, he also became Muhammad’s son-in-law.
  6. Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecofeminist, environmental activist and author. Shiva, currently based in New Delhi, is author of over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. One of the serious opponents to globalization.


Abdullah,Asmah and Paul B.Pedersen. 2003. Understanding Multicultural Malaysia:Delights,Puzzles & Irritations. Petaling Jaya: Prentice Hall.

Federal Constitution compiled by Legal Research Board. 2006. Petaling Jaya: International Law Book Services.

Hashim,Ismail. 2004. The Young Turks of PETRONAS. Self-published title.

Hock, Oo Yu. 1991. Ethnic Chameleon: Multiracial Politics in Malaysia. Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk Publications

Jomo K.S. 1989. Beyond 1990:Considerations for a New National Development Strategy, Kuala Lumpur: Institue for Advanced Studies, University of Malaya.

________. 1996.Deepening Malaysian Dmeocracy with more checks and balances. Said, Muhammad Ikmal and Emby, Zahid (Eds). Malaysia critical perspectives: Essay in honour of Syed Husin Ali. Petaling Jaya: Persatuan Sains Sosial Malaysia.

Kaur,Hardev. 2001. Malaysia as a Moderate Muslim Nation in the New World Order. Richter, Frank-Jurgen and ThangD.Nguyen (Eds).The Malaysian Journey:Progress in Diversity.Singapore:Times Edititons.

Rahman, Tunku Abdul.1969. May 13 before and after. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Melayu Press Limited.

Siang, Lim Kit. 1999. Economic and Financial Crisis. Petaling Jaya: Democratic Action Party Economic Committee.

Yap,O.Fiona, Citizen Power, Politics, and the “Asian Miracle” reassessing the dyamics. Boulder: Lnne Rienner Publishers,Inc.

Internet source

Laporan Persidangan Agung UMNO 2006.

Chok Suat Ling. Opinion: Give youth chance to make mark in society.

Hindraf: A miscalculated judgement in struggle for Justice

By rausyanfikir, ‘Open Letter to Uthayakumar’ is written by Nathaniel Tan, courtesy of

Since many people were asking for my point of view regarding Hindraf episode that has shocked Malaysian as a whole, I would like to offer my two-cents worth of arguments about it.

No doubt, what Hindraf was doing in humanist point of view is nothing to be astranged off. The problem here was their method of delivery in conveying their message to the targeted group: which is the public at large.

First, I would still congratulate them for their effort and success in mobilizing the Malaysian Indians to be much aware of the fundamental problem that occurs in our own backyard which is the oppression of the marginalized by the capitalist group which can simply be translated as the rich and corrupted man in power.misjudged the after effect of their struggle by simply single out on a particular race (after all Hindraf is only meant for Malaysian Indians) subject of the struggle rather than the common issue that can be shared by all of the Malaysian citizens. Sadly though, they have

Now we can see clearly how a well intent struggle for Justice can turn out to be a political weapon if you play a wrong card in our racial-based political system. In this case, Hindraf has played out a racial card which could only benefit the deckmaster: Barisan Nasional.

It has been proven that Hindraf episode have been used by Barisan Nasional government over and over again, to generalize the danger of practicing genuine rights BERSIH-styled democracy. Now, Hindraf episode has been manipulated and transformed into a propaganda ammunition to be fired from a racial-based political rifle that could hit straight to the heart of public perception.

A disaster for our long and peaceful effort in promoting Justice through Peace and Unity. We as a Malaysian should be united in all front when it comes to demand Justice that should be existing under our celebrated Malaysian brand Democracy and should never ever go to this war alone as a single racial entity as it will definitely backfired in the long run as we can see now.

We can’t simply play the same old racial card as the evil does not care whether you are a Chinese or Malay or even an Indian. The evil only knows that we, the citizens are more less like a group machines to serve their greed for greater power and wealth. Due to this reason, I sadly have to object Hindraf struggle, as it is too dangerous and confrontational in its mechanism even though their intention is good in humanistic point of view.

Racial based issues should never be brought over to the public at large without considering the sensitivities and the acceptance of the general audience first. We already know, racial-based politics could only lead to a far more worse situation than what we hope for in the first place as what being clearly shown in our history pages on the 13th May 1969 incident.

I came across this letter written by Nathaniel Tan for Uthayakumar, one of Hindraf front man and I simply share the same views that being described by Nathaniel Tan in his Open Letter to Uthayakumar. A very nicely written piece of advices.



Open letter to Uthayakumar


Dear Mr Uthayakumar,

Salam perjuangan, I hope this finds you well. I write this to you with as much sincerity as my heart can muster because at this point, Hindraf has effectively become you alone, and you alone have become Hindraf.

While Malaysia talks of Hindraf and imagines the Indians, I feel that you and your small circle determine what ‘Hindraf’ is, and not any wider community.

You thus now hold within your hands the ability to lead Indian Malaysians out of marginalisation and into a life of dignity and prosperity. In this regard, you stand in the same place Gandhi did at the beginning of his struggle.

You have succeeded where none have before in uniting the community, inspiring them to leave behind their fears and to stand up bravely in pursuit of justice and a better life.

You now face, however, the prospect that the massive opportunities that these successes presented may be slowly slipping through our fingers. To lose these opportunities, which we may never see again in our life time, would be a tragedy not only for Indian Malaysians but for all Malaysians.

Where once Hindraf stood as the next wave of a Malaysian movement demanding the return of integrity and justice to our government, it has now become twisted into a lightning rod of polarisation which plays directly into the hands of Barisan Nasional’s racially divisive politics.

We can stand the tide of oppression, of vilification and the use of unjust laws against us, but only if we hold fast to the right principles and choose the right paths.

I am writing to you sir, to implore you to prioritise results as well as a sustainable and just solution for the long term over whatever short-term gains current strategies may yield.

I beg you to consider the fact that some of the current approaches will not only worsen ethnic relations in Malaysia, but also frustrate any attempt to realise the changes so desperately needed by the Indian Malaysian community.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative that your movement does not sacrifice its ultimate goals in the pursuit of fleeting satisfaction. Your movement is but a step or two away from truly inheriting the legacy of the Gandhi-led Indian struggle for independence from Britain, and the time has come to close that distance.

Unassailable moral high ground

It is also now that our commitment to Gandhian principles is most tested.

On a logical level, I can perhaps understand to some extent, statements about how violence cannot be ruled out due to the uncontrollable nature of crowds.

But for a leader in your position to refuse to rule out violence as a part of your movement is both unacceptable and unbecoming of the Mahatma’s legacy.

Clearly, the government’s attempt to brand you as a terrorist is a desperate ploy. To respond in kind however, and wildly accuse the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General of having links to Al-Qaeda is to practise exactly the ‘eye for an eye’ logic that will indeed leave the whole world blind.

The importance of holding the highest moral ground cannot possibly be overstated; it may well determine whether the lot of Indian Malaysians will ever truly be improved.

Images showing police firing chemical-laced water against supporters sitting peacefully and bravely holding their ground. holding Malaysian flags and pictures of Gandhi, is exactly the type of moral shaming that brought down the British Empire in India.

Holding fast to these approaches will expose to the world the government’s injustice towards Indian Malaysians and towards Malaysia; refusal to rule out violence and striking back blindly in anger will send your movement down the annals of history as nothing but rabble rousers.

Your interview with Malaysiakini revealed that your use of the terms “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” were not without due consideration on your part. They have also obviously succeeded somewhat in attracting wider global attention.

Once again however, I plead with you to consider the wider implications.

It is highly unreasonable to expect Malaysians to believe that what happened in Rwanda and Bosnia is happening here in Malaysia.

I firmly agree with you that there is a clear and present danger of failing to address these problems, and thus one day going down that road; but it is ridiculous to suggest that we are already there.

The entire credibility of a leader rests on the words he or she chooses, and I regret to say that such poor choice of words risks putting you in the category of the boy who cried wolf.

I do congratulate you on bringing the matter to the attention of legislators in India, the UK and the US – this was no small feat. To use such sensationalist means to achieve this goal however may be akin to Menang bersorak, kampung tergadai. A significant fear of mine is that your movement may hope for more dramatic clashes in order to heighten international attention.

It would be unwise to assume that the international community can truly do much to improve the welfare of Indian Malaysians, which again should be the ultimate goal. Even if circumstances should turn more violent, if the world did not act in Rwanda, and still does not act in Burma, it will not act in Malaysia.

Unity for justice

Mr Uthayakumar, I implore you not to walk this road alone. Perhaps you wanted the rally of Nov 25 to be primarily Indian Malaysian in composition because you wanted the community to prove to itself that it can stand on its own two feet.

This is understandable, but the time for walking alone has come and gone. If any Hindraf leader were to be detained under the ISA, rest assured that I will stand with the multitudes on the streets demanding their freedom.

I only ask you to consider that if at this crucial stage you moderate your stance and truly internalise the teachings of Mahatma, you will make the struggle against injustice in such an event a one to one fight, rather than splitting the conflict into three corners – all of Malaysia could rise up to defend justice for all.

Otherwise, we will once again fail to unite, and fail to realise true change. In doing so, we will condemn yet another generation to hateful division and poverty.

I sympathise with your cynicism as to how other movements in Malaysia have failed to champion the cause of the Indian Malaysian community sufficiently. I myself take responsibility for my own failure to push this agenda sufficiently in my own efforts. If your intent has been to shame us, consider us shamed and appropriately humbled.

I am deeply hopeful that you will have it in your heart to see the harsh reality that faces us all at a moment like this: there is no way your movement will ever succeed if it remains exclusively a Hindu or Indian movement. It is a stark and painful truth, but a truth nonetheless.

If the injustices of the powers-that-be are painfully difficult to break even when we stand united, they are entirely impossible to break standing divided.

There is also no doubt in my mind that the welfare of Indian Malaysians will never really improve unless we do indeed break those injustices.

I do feel that the Bersih model has struck fear in the hearts of those in power. If we can build on that model of a mass movement that incorporates all ethnic groups and elements of society, instead of being limited to certain segments, I feel we can build a momentum to achieve our ultimate goals – without which all our other goals will be rendered meaningless

Believe it or not, I have seen how the vast majority of the Malaysian public of all races is perfectly ready to support the Indian Malaysian community in their endeavour to seek a better life. If you are ready to accept some moderation and engage this greater public, I assure you the results will be phenomenal.

I know that it is a lot to ask of you, to sacrifice your approach and the rubric under which you have conceived your struggle. It is not something any of us should dare to ask lightly.

In fact I do not ask, I beg. I beg that you review your strategies, reject that which will not help Indian Malaysians in the long run, and adopt the tactics that are true to your principles of speaking truth to power and have a real chance of affecting change.

I beg that you consider the views around you and weigh your actions against longer term successes – which are the only successes that matter. Stand united now, and we may have a chance of seeing those successes within our short lifetimes.

Mr Uthayakumar, I shall never forget the assistance you gave me when I was under detention. I do not believe you are a racist or harbour any truly ill intentions, and I do appreciate the pressures and historical difficulties that inform your struggle.

I only hope that in this decisive moment for all, you will be willing to make the right sacrifices, and not the wrong ones, in going beyond being good leader to being a Gandhi-like leader – one that Malaysians of all races need so very badly.

Be strong sir, take courage and take that last step. I remain ever available for any assistance you may require.

NATHANIEL TAN is a blogger and aide to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Perjuangan Islam di Malaysia: Antara realiti dan pragmatisme

Oleh: rausyanfikir

“Kamu orang apa? PAS ke ABIM ke UMNO?”

“Saya orang Islam, dan saya menyokong kebenaran”

Mungkin senario ini jarang kita hadapai tetapi jauh dilubuk hati para da’ie pasti timbul gejolak pemikiran sebegini.

Begitulah realiti yang menggigit dunia perjuangan dan dakwah pada hari ini. Tidak sah jika identifikasi berkenaan dengan kumpulan yang didokong tidak dinyatakan dengan jelas oleh mana-mana pihak.

Di sebelah sini mengatakan kumpulan ini paling syumul, di sebelah sana pula mengatakan kumpulan ini play safe dan kedengaran juga suara-suara yang menyapa kumpulan sana hanya panda bercermah dan mencemuh.

Hairan bukan? Sudahlah umat Islam Negara ini terpecah kepada dua golongan besar yang menyokong agenda Nasionalis dan Islam tiba-tiba dalam kelompok pembawa api kebenaran terdapat juga serpihan debu yang mengotorkan tangan pembawa obor: perpecahan antara kumpulan-kumpulan Islam turut berlaku dalam kelompok besar yang memperjuangkan islam di tanah air.

Bukankah kita sudah sedia maklum bahawa di akhir zaman ini, Al Ahzab moden sudah bersedia berpadu tenaga tanpa mengira ideologi dan akidah melainkan sepakat membulatkan nafsu menentang Islam yang sejati. Kristian, Hindu, Zionis dan Atheis yang radikal tidak peduli sama ada mereka sebulu ataupun tidak, melainkan hati hitam yang bencikan islam.

Bagaimana kita di Malaysia? Saya boleh terima jika PAS dan UMNO bermusuh akibat perbezaan dasar perjuangan tetapi krisis inter-kumpulan Islam? Adalah sesuatu yang sangat tidak wajar berlaku di saat-saat begini.

Bersatu teguh bercerai roboh

Rasanya peribahasa di atas sudah cukup menggambarkan betapa perpaduan bagi umat melayu Islam sangat penting bagi menjamin kedaulatan bangsa, agama dan Negara kita. Malanganya, ada sesetengah mungkin juga sesetengah yang banyak kuantitinya gagal menghayati maksud perpaduan tersebut.

“Kumpulan aku lebih baik! Kami tidak gentar menyatakan aqidah perjuangan kami!’

“ Kumpulan kami pula lebih banyak lakukan perubahan pada golongan professional!”

Realiti semasa perjuangan Islam di Malaysia ini sememangnya mengambarkan beberapa sudut. Di satu penjuru terdapat Muslimin dan Muslimat yang berjuang dengan penat lelah dalam menentang kezaliman penguasa manakala dalam satu sudut yang lain terdapat juga mereka yang mampu menarik keluar ahli maksiat kepada ahli masyarakat yang lebih berguna.

Semua orang mempunyai tempat yang tersendiri dalam perjuangan. Perjuangan tidak pernah dieksklusifkan hanya milik kumpulan Islam tertentu malah Allah juga tidak meletakkan hanya Islam sahaja yang layak berjuang dalam menentang segala kezaliman dan kemusnahan.

Lihat saja dunia yang penuh warna warni dari zaman Gandhi ke Guevara dan dari Mandela ke Malcolm X yang mana masing-masing mempunyai susur galur berduri yang tersendiri. Ada yang berjaya ada yang masih belum merasai buah kemenangan.

Walau apa pun perjuangan tersebut dimulakan, ia mula atas perasaan dan fitrah semulajadi manusia yang cintakan kedamaian dan keadilan, membencikan kekacauan dan kezaliman.

Tetapi, walaubagaimanapun, perjuangan menuntut KEBENARAN sudah tentu hanyak milik kepada Islam kerana akar ataupun akidah perjuangan mestilah tepat bagi menyempurnakan fitrah hidup yang sudah dicipta khas untuk manusia yang tunduk kepada Khaliqnya.

Sayangnya, walaupun kita sudah berada pada jalan perjuangan yang BENAR berbanding beribu-ribu manusia yang berjuang tetapi masih gagal menemui al-haq, kita masih gagal menyatukan sumber dan kekuatan perjuangan Islam tersebut.

Sifat taasub inilah yang menghindarkan kita dari menyelesaikan masalah yang sebenar iaitu masalah ummah. Pernah berlaku bila mana seorang ahli gerakan mengemukakan konsep yang lebih mengfokus kepada ummah ataupun dalam bahasa modennya Ummah centric dalam tulisannya tiba-tiba sahaja sesetengah daripada kita melenting dan terus mencaci dengan begitu dahsyat kepada saudara perjuangan kita hanya kerana kita tidak mampu memahami dengan lebih mendalam konsep “Ummah Centric” yang cuba di sampaikan tersebut.

Tidak kisahlah untuk kita tidak dapat menerima pandangan insan tersebut tetapi dimanakah adab sesama kita dalam tidak mempesetujui perkara sebegitu?

Minda tertutup kerana bersikap idealistik

Baru-baru ini saya menghadiri perhimpunan nasional gerakan-gerakan Islam di Malaysia yang dianjurkan oleh Sekretariat Kongres Umat Islam Se-Malaysia dan Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan untuk membincangkan gerak kerja menggemblengkan potensi umat untuk tahun-tahun yang berikutnya. Sambutan yang ditunjukkan sangat menggalakkan kerana hampir kesemua gerakan hadir kecuali UMNO (mungkin kerana faktor kerajaan Negeri Kelantan sebagai salah satu pihak penganjur).

Terdapat satu sesi yang sangat menarik bila mana perbincangan bersama tokoh ilmuan perlembagaan Malaysia iaitu Prof. Aziz Bari yang berlegar mengenai isu “ Adakah Malaysia sebuah negara Islam?”

Saya kira, beliau sememangnya mahu mencetuskan anjakan paradigma untuk melihat sejauh mana para pejuang Islam di tanah air ini memberi respons dalam isu ini. Katanya:

“ Malaysia ini bukanlah sebuah negara Islam mahupun negara sekular kerana kita tidak memenuhi kesemua kriteria untuk kedua-dua ciri tersebut dalam struktur perlembagaan dan undang-undang negara kita”

Bayangkan reaksi yang ditimbulkan oleh para delegasi seolah-olah hendak bertegang urat dengan beliau. Masih ramai yang mahu menegaskan negara ini merupakan negara Islam dan bukan sekular ( mungkin mereka bermaksud negara Muslim kerana majoriti penduduk Malaysia adalah Melayu Muslim ataupun melihat kembali status quo sejarah tanah air ini pernah didaulatkan dengan Islam) dan pelbagai hujah dan kekeliruan yang timbul dalam membahas isu ini.

Keadaan menjadi agak hangat sehinggakan pihak pengajur terpaksa bertindak dengan pantas bagi mengendurkan suasana tersebut menjadi lebih rasional daripada emosional.

Mungkin tidak ramai yang bersetuju dengan kenyataan beliau tetapi bagi saya, Prof Aziz Bari bersikap pragmatik dalam hal Negara Islam. Untuk kita menyatakan kepada dunia bahawa Malaysia merupakan Negara Islam melalui peti undi merupakan satu perkara yang agak mustahil.

Prof Aziz Bari sendiri melontarkan kembali soalan kepada para delegasi bahawa benchmark ataupun kayu ukur mana yang perlu kita guna dalam menilai sejauh manakah ‘Islam-nya’ negara kita ini kelak apabila Islam kembali berkuasa? Sudah tentu model yang terbaik ialah Madinah Al-Munawarah sewaktu baginda Rasulullah S.A.W memerintah.

Realitinya Malaysia adalah sebuah negara yang majmuk. Kita mempunyai pelbagai kaum dan agama yang dimana hampir kesemua daripada mereka yang bukan Islam masih tidak faham Islam sebagai ad-deen walaupun kita sudah 50 tahun hidup secara aman. Belum lagi kita kira golongan Melayu yang langsung melihat Islam sebagai agama ritual semata-mata. Masih jauh lagi untuk kita capai matlamat terulung tersebut dan seperti kata Presiden CAP iaitu S.M Idris:

“ For you to create an Islamic State you must create an Islamic Society first”

Kenyataan S.M Idris ini boleh saya simpulkan sebagai mekanisme sulbah yang mana kita bermula dengan individu Muslim, Keluarga Muslim, Masyarakat Muslim, Negara Islam sehinggalah kepada Khilafah yang telah lama hilang dari ingatan kaum Muslimin di dunia ini.

Saya kira kita harus bersikap realistik seperti Turki dalam melalui jalan sulbah ini. Fokuskan kepada masalah umat yang bersifat dasar daripada bertelagah mengenai perkara yang lebih ideal sifatnya untuk masa sekarang.

Saya tidak berkata tidak perlu para da’ie berpeluk tubuh dalam menghadapi suasana politik yang korup tetapi jangalah sampai kita terbawa-bawa dengan tarikan kuasa untuk menegakkan syariah melalui peti undi tanpa melakukan Islah dari bawah iaitu terhadap umat dahulu.

Kesemua ini perlu berjalan seiringan dimana ada kumpulan yang berjuang meng’Islam’kan politik dan ada kumpulan yang gigih meng’Islah’kan masyarakat dari akar umbi. Maka sikap “jemaah aku paling hebat” sudah tentu tidak akan timbul dan apatah lagi berbalah sesama kita.

Islam ini syumul

Islam sepertimana yang kita tahu bukan sekadar agama ritual. Kita berTuhan kerana kita percaya dengan fitrah manusia sebagai makhluk yang lemah yang senantiasa bergantung kepada Allah dalam melaksanakan tanggungjawab kita sebagai khalifah di muka bumi Allah ini (hablumminallah).

Kita juga sedar bahawa sebagai manusia kita tidak hidup berseorangan di muka bumi ini. Kita perlu menjalinkan hubungan selaku indvidiu, anggota masyarakat, anggota keluarga dan pelbagai lagi peranan sebagai manusia dalam kelompok yang besar (hamblumminannas).

Sudah tentu kesemua ini perlukan aturan yang lengkap dan kemas. Maka disinilah peranan Islam sebagai cara hidup yang melampaui erti agama yang difahami kebanyakkan manusia di atas muka bumi Allah ini.
Saya mewakafkan diri kepada perjuangan Islam bukan kerana ingin menegakkan Islam melalui peti undi tetapi kerana saya sangat mempercayai Islam itu sungguh lengkap dan tidak mampu ditandingi oleh mana-mana kuasa dan idea apatah lagi Islam itu sendiri melengkapi kepada semua perkara dan tidak ada sedikit pun cacat cela akan ad-deen ini.

Atas dasar kefahaman inilah saya sanggup meninggalkan keenakan hidup duniawi untuk mencari redha Allah demi melihat Islam kembali menyinari alam tidak kira sinaran kebenaran itu kepada umat Islam yang telah tenggelam ataupun umat manusia sekalian yang masih meraba-raba dalam kesesatan.

Perasaan untuk menerima Islam sebagai ad-deen dalam diri saya ini melampaui sempadan kebersamaan saya dengan kumpulan Islam tertentu malah lebih daripada identiti saya sebagai Melayu Muslim.
Islam sebagai ad-deen telah menusuk jiwa manusiawi saya yang lemah sehinggakan roh Islam itu menggantikan roh manusiawi yang tidak ada makna jikalu tidak mengenali Tuhan yang Esa melalui cara yang telah digariskan oleh-Nya iaitu Islam sebagai ad-deen.

Jikalau betul para pejuang Islam di Malaysia ini percaya Islam itu syumul kenapa masih terdapat lompongan yang besar dalam pelbagai aspek perjuangan antaranya seperti dalam bidang alam sekitar, perdaganan dan lain-lain bidang yang dimana kita menerima model dan pendekatan Barat untuk kita gunakan dalam pembangunan masyarakat kita.

Pernah Tuan Haji Azmi (Presiden TERAS) dan S.M Idris (Presiden CAP) pergi ke Pakistan untuk bertemu dengan beberapa tokoh gerakan di Paksitan dan diantaranya ialah Presiden Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) yang dahulunya terkenal dengan susuk seperti As-Syaheed Abul A’la Al-Mawdudi yang hidup sezaman dengan As-Syaheed Imam Hassan Al Bana.

Ketika mana Tuan Haji Azmi dan S.M Idris bertemu dengan Presiden JI pada masa kini iaitu Qazi Hussain Ahmad, mereka bertanyakan kenapa JI tidak memperjuangkan isu-isu alam sekitar dan kepenggunaan? Jawapan yang diberi cukup menduka citakan. Qazi Hussain bertanya kembali kepada mereka bahawasanya bukankah itu merupakan isu orang Kristian?

Kenyataan sebeginilah yang mendukacitakan mereka berdua termasuklah saya selaku orang yang memandang tinggi gerakan Islam tersebut.

Ternyata gerakan Islam sendiri yang bersikap sempit minda dalam melihat masalah umat. Ia berlaku hampir di semua tempat di dunia ini dan gerakan Islam gagal menggunakan potensi yang ada untuk membawa isu-isu sebegini.

Realiti yang cukup takut untuk kita fikirkan. Lompong-lompong yang ada ini siapakah yang bertanggungjawab terhadapnya? Kita ada pelbagai jenis kumpulan Islam di Malaysia dan kita masih gagal untuk menutupi permasalahan yang timbul semakin hari semakin kompleks. Akhirnya, disebabkan kita tidak ada peneraju dalam bidang tertentu kita gagal memahami keperluan yang kritikal dalam menangani isu tersebut.

Jikalau kita lihat senario di atas, perlukah kita bercakar ayam dalam menyelesaikan masalah umat? Mungkin cakarnya tidak jelas tetapi sakit daripada perbuatan itu akhirnya melukai roh perjuangan untuk menyelamatakn umat dan ini akhirnya membuatkan gerakan Islam lebih terdedah kepada ancaman Ahzab Moden yang lebih kompleks lagi licik.

Cukuplah dengan jemaah centric yang berlebihan yang melahirkan ketaasuban terhadap kumpulan yang disertai sehinggakan kumpulan lain seolah-olah tidak ada tempat dan tidak betul manhajnya.

Cukuplah juga dengan ummah centric yang melampau yang akhirnya menjadikan diri terumbang ambing ditelan ombak ganas akibat menaiki sampan sendiri sehingga menidakkan keperluan bersama kapal yang lebih besar dan selamat dalam menongkah ombak ganas tersebut.

Kesemua ini hanya akan mendatangkan kelemahan kepada perjuangan umat Islam di tanah air. Seperti kata Ustaz Hasrizal jemaah itu keperluan dan ummah itu tujuan. Insyaallah jikalau kita mengambil sikap bersederhana dalam hal ini, umat Islam di Malaysida tidak akan rugi malah kita dapat menzahirkan betapa Islam ini mampu menyelesaikan segala permasalahan manusia.

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