Tok Guru Nik Aziz: People First Always

October 31, 2010

Tok Guru Nik Aziz: People First Always

by Terence

COMMENT Anniversaries are not what they are cracked up to be for reason of the phenomenon of ‘historical body-snatching’.

Whenever some anniversary occurs, there is a scramble to appropriate the occasion for the benefit of some contemporary cause or the glorification of some contemporary leader. This can introduce much confusion into present-day political discussion.

Fortunately, no appropriation or confusion occurred when one anniversary came by 10 days ago simply because there was no public marking of it.  It passed without fanfare, which was in a way revealing of the person to whom the anniversary occurred.

This was the 20th anniversary in the office of Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the PAS spiritual leader. Twenty years is a long time for someone to be in charge of a political office, though not by BN standards.

Last year S Samy Vellu completed 30 years as head of MIC and next March, Taib Mahmud will mark 30 years as chief minister of Sarawak. Among BN tenancies, they are the two longest though by no means singular. UMNO’s Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister for 22 years and Gerakan’s Dr Lim Chong Eu was chief minister of Penang for 21 years.

Tenures are inherently limited for occupants of political office from Pakatan Rakyat; the dynamic Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin of PAS lasted a mere 11 months. Though DAP’s Lim Guan Eng is seemingly secure in the saddle in Penang, the relentless buffeting he gets from UMNO suggests that either he is in danger of collapsing in a heap or he is doing so well that his adversaries cannot abide the thought.

Selangor’s MB from PKR, Khalid Ibrahim, may be less bedeviled. Unlike Guan Eng, however, Khalid has to tamp down opposition not only from without but also within.

Self-imposed austerity

All this provides perspective which enables a quick distillation of the essence of Nik Aziz, 69, as a leader. His is a leadership based on exceptional moral stature.  In a period of national history when every BN leader of protracted tenure is seen as well heeled – indeed some obscenely so – Nik Aziz has not waxed rich on the benefits of office. For that alone, he deserves to be canonized.


Seri Perdana, Putrajaya

Take a look at the modest house he had lived in the last 20 years and put against that the current Budget’s allocation for refurbishment to the prime minister’s residence in Putrajaya.

One depicts the spartan lifestyle of its occupant; the other reflects the penchant for extravagance that characterises the set from which the PM comes.

Self-imposed austerity is not the Tok Guru’s only strength. Sustained by certitudes of faith, the moral clarity of his vision stands fore and aft of the man. In an era when prevarication is the norm with political leaders, there’s no gray tincture to the positions Nik Aziz takes. He is surface straight through.

It was this clarity of moral vision that set him implacably against any collaboration with UMNO. Had it not been for his opposition, a defining moment in our current history would have been lost to the forces of reaction. The clarity of his moral vision and his unostentatious poverty of lifestyle mark Nik Aziz’s two decades in office as a political tour de force that posterity is certain to honour.

65 thoughts on “Tok Guru Nik Aziz: People First Always

  1. I do not understand. Sri Perdana is rented from Putrajaya Holdings and Governemnt is paying rent. So should not the renovation amounting to RM65Million be done by Putrajaya Holdings and not the Government. If Government does the renovation then the RM65Million should be off-set for the monthly rent. Just a thought.
    That is not the issue. Why RM65 million on renovation?–Din Merican

  2. I may not be a Muslim, but I have the utmost respect for Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat for his simple way of life even though he has been the MB for Kelantan for 20 years.
    I too have the highest regard for his wisdom ,honesty and honor .
    May Allah blessed this honorable man with longevity and good health.

  3. I dread to think what this Tok Guru would do if one day he gets to be PM. Would he continue to live in austerity in a pondok at Janda Baik? Would visiting dignatories be required to visit his ‘pondok’ and take off their shoes.

    Would Hilary Clinton be made to don the hijab and walk barefooted?

  4. I can understand the need to put the guy on a high moral pedestal. His charismatic leadership is apparently useful to compensate for the fact that a party which uses religion as unifying ideology is the weakest link in the chain, in a coalition of mostly secular parties which at best could only be described as a ragtag band of political wannabes in need of an ideology.

    The problem is not so much in defeating the ruling coalition as in ruling the country. There will be one crisis after another as the struggle to forge a consensus among disparate parties goes on endlessly. It leads to a political gridlock and an administration too distracted and preoccupied with internal squabbles to be effective.

    It will pave the way for the return of a reformed UMNO stronger and more united.

  5. Mongkut Bean
    Let’s not confuse TG Nik Aziz the person and TG Nik Aziz the politician.
    Living in a pondok in Janda Baik shouldn’t be a problem. TG Nik Aziz can always receive dignitaries at the PM’s office in Putrajaya, much like what the Agong is doing. They live in their istanas in KL but use Istana Negara for official functions.
    If Hilary were to visit TG Nik Aziz, Hilary will have to “do as the Romans do” wear a long gown and cover her hair, lest she tempts the males amongst TG Nik Aziz entourage.
    Credit must be given to TG Nik Aziz for his austerity and non display of material wealth. Similarly TG Awang Hadi does the same at his home in Kampung Rusila.
    Lets not forget that PAS is the glue that holds the PR together thanks to the efforts of TG Nik Aziz.

  6. In that case it will hold for as long as the glue lasts. Which I don’t think it will be very long, given his age. The problem with charismatic style of leadership is that it does not survive the person. It dies with him.

  7. PAS is in in the midst of a internicene conflict between the ‘moderates’ and ‘conservatives’. I’ve agree with Bean wrt charismatic leaders. The jury is still out on whether the more enlightened forward looking (Turks) can enforce their will. They probably can in the short term becuz of their common hatred of their hypocritical opponents. But there is no one in the horizon with the moral and spiritual stature of Tok Nik. Recurrent rumblings of ‘Hudud’ cause no small measure of unease amongst all.

    Btw, i disagree with the term “self imposed austerity”. These guys are really humble by nature and in spirit – certainly not by false piety.

  8. You need to live amongst them to appreciate their humbleness in spite of their position as MB or Party Chief, unlike the UMNO and BN leaders.
    There will always be the divide between the ultras and the conservatives and TG Nik Aziz has always been the voice of moderation. He is getting on in age and his health is in question. Right now there’s no one in PAS that can fill in the void both in spiritual nor in charisma. TG Nik Aziz departure will mean an end to an era for PAS which have adverse effect on PR.

    Until they get to taste power …Bean TG Nik Aziz has been in power 20 years and still have not changed. TG Hadi Awang too had a taste of power and have not change still living in the kampung house in Rusila. Perhaps on one of your next visit to Malaysia, travel to Trengganu and stay in the Marang area. Visit Kampung Rusila and if on friday stay to pray Jumaah at his mesjid/house complex. You’d appreciate this modest leader. The same goes for TG Nik Aziz..

  9. Oh I missed out on the Hugo Boss and Zegna suits unlike the BN CM’s and MB’s and even the ketua bahagian including the katak Zahrain. DSAI too sports the Zegna suits while Che Det have his hand made by the tailor at Wisma Lim Foo Yong.

  10. A leader of a state or country should not rule more than 6 years…but with TGNA I would rather he stay on until his demise….PAS need another similar style leader if they were to still rule Kelantan… for that matter Malaysia too need a leader who is full of Amanah kepada rakyat and takwa kepada Tuhan ( god fearing )…not the kind of sapu BERSIH, CEKAP cekup and AMANAH tolak sebelah…

  11. Its good to not be attached to the world. Thast good in fact it is the command thsu relfected by Nik Aziz. Hiowver what fot ehc ommand you have to work hgard as if you are going to live forever. Prophet Mohammed;s wife was a successful business women. there is no ” sin” ( heres that word again) to be successful and be economically free in order to help the others . With economic prosperity one can help in so many ways. Poverty has its own costs and majors ones at that. Whilst Nik Aziz has one facet correct , the non attachment to pwer or money,I think, he however does not have the mental aptitude to forward Kelantan economically. This is where we fail. So what has changed in kelantan? They still live in poverty, they want to bring in hudud ( what nonsense is that?) As for being in power for so long, what is that? That is simply wrong.

    And Mr bean is correct what if world dignitaries coem over, can he speak at level. We are no island, we need trade with other nations to survive. M’sia is too small to be arrogant unless we are an economic power house which we are not. Come on this is the 21st centruy we need more spohisticated leaders in every sense of the word, economically, worldly, in the outward interpretation of the religion to face the nation indeed the woprlds challenges if we are to make the difference, to be the difference. We , the malays ( indeed Islam ) is stuck in the mindset of the 7th century but we want the 21st century lifestyle. What is that about?

  12. My issue is we reflect the mindset of the 7th century but want a 21st centruy lifestyle. So how do we reconcile the teachings of the Koran and the life on this earth? This is where we have failed miserably in our interpretation. We must be critical of our leaders. We cannot just say aww he is good because he is so simple in his lifestyle. That doesnt feed people and put food on their table. What about other challenges that they need to face. The command of the English language, the ability to speak , the ability to think critically,economics,the Rule of Law, the indipendence of the judiciary, the Law enforcement. To bring them put into the 21st century and cope with the demands and challenges of this life. To eradicate their poverty trap that weighs them down so much.

  13. While we are on the subject of ‘People First’, Islam is less of a religion than a religious ideology. Malaysia is 60% Muslim (by law if not by conviction). How then do you win over the remaining 40%?

    That is central to my thesis that Pakatan is set to implode once power changes hands or soon after. Listen to this:

  14. “You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot stregthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln.

  15. Kathy
    Obviously you do not know Kelantan and also TG Nik Aziz. Kelantan is backward because the Federal government under BN and UMNO is punishing the Kelantanese for voting the opposition. Look at Trengganu, after the PR won the state the Federal Government under Che Det stopped the oil royalty and instead dished out the royalty as Wang Ehsan and the funds are disbursed through UMNO. What crap.

    Being humble and not extravagant is also an Islamic value. Spending money on lavish lifestyle is going agiainst Islam. How can TG Nik Aziz and the Kelantan government undertake lavish project or even create employment opportunities when the BN Federal government doesn’t even allocate funds for education to Kelantan.

    Would you rather have a government that lives within its means or are you in full support of the present BN spend spend spend like there’s no tomorrow? In spite of the chokehold of funds and legislation hindering development in Kelantan the PAS government have been successful in raising the economic level of its citizens. Have you ever seen a Tourism Malaysia poster promoting Kelantan or a MATRADE or MIDA investment seminar highlighting Kelantan. Over the years I’ve attended many many such seminars led by Kak Pidah. Kelantan is always never mentioned.

    TG Nik Aziz is an Ulama and is conversant with good governance. i.e. the Islamic way. Hudud has been misinterpreted by BN and UMNO for their political gain. Being an Islamic party they rightly aspire to have Hudud laws but it won’t happen in racially and religiously diverse Malaysia. So don’t fall into the BN trap about the hudud issue.
    On the other field of economy, finance, etc they can be assigned to the other ADUNS who have the education and experience. Thus we have a consultative government. On the same argument do you think all the past 6 PM of Malaysia have all that knowledge and education to manage all the things you mentioned? Even the Cabinet members are not qualified to hold the position other than the fact that they are leader of a BN component party.

    On speaking English just to welcome the foreign dignitary I reserve my case. The Japanese PM, the Chinese PM, and many others have no problem not being proficient in English, They employ interpreter or translator. So just being able to converse in English will put Malaysia on an equal footing with the US and UK?

    Kelantanese are very good business people. There are more successful Kelantanese in businesses in Malaysia. Unfortunately they have to migrate or hijrah to other states to partake of the opportunities. Zaid Ibrahim is a Kelantanese The KN Kenanga group are headed by Kelantanese. The Kelantan government is not taking away the Kelantanese initiatives and independence, its the BN government that is curbing growth in Kelantan because they are in opposition.

  16. I always believe living under someone pious and god fearing persons will lead to prosperity and just. Would you rather live under najib just because he seems so modern and up to date?

    Forget about the islamophobia kathy and Mr Bean, just give it a try for a term at the least. And we’ll see whether these pious leaders from PAS and some from PKR will deliver or not. The system will not change, trust me because PAS can never become the majority who can change the system ala taliban. PAS contests only a small fraction of seats throughout Malaysia even though it always sounds as if its the biggest party.

    Focus on bringing down BN first, shall we?

  17. Hi Mr Bean,Wicked sense of humour! What do I think of that? Well not much really. I really dont know the basis of that figure but I believe he speaks to us in language we would understand at our level. Ok. Ok. Let me expand. Since the Prophet was sent to a people that was idolising stones, killing their female infant in favour of only male infants and also perhaps ( I dont know, will look up this point) obsessed with sex ( then again who isnt) may be he needed to teach them in a way that could make them understand that good and higher conduct has its rewards in the after life? Even as I am explaining this i find myself fumbling.
    You must remember that the Arabs are a culture that we do not relate too or undertsand. Thus I sometimes wonder why M’sians ( the malays) look to them as we are worlds apart. Especially their interpretation of the Koran is most cultural practices too and thus in the Koran it refers to ‘ beware of false ancestral worship”.Anyway, I believe Prophet knew the Arab men and their propensity in not respecting the institution of marriage and mistreating their women ( dont they still do that, oppress them) so I have not seen this number in the Koran but it is a I believe a hadith of Nabi to speak of high and virtuous conduct towards women which will be rewarded in paradise. But it is purely symbolic as to their ( Arab men speciifically in this case) understanding of what may be in paradise ( in this case virgins and errr 72 of them?). However there is one thing I am certain off and that is God teaches us in the language we understand most at our individual levels ( based on epxerience in life) adn thus perhaps he had to persuade a culture so hell bent on mistreating their women to change.

  18. Okay Thats right Mr Bean, I had to think about Arab men and the 72 virgins. Men what do we do we them?

    Hi Semper fi, I did not mean to offend the Kelantanese. I have been there alot and the poverty is appalling. You are right that they voted out UMNO becasue Umno is corrupt and they are a people unto themselves. Yes yes I know the Kelantanese are a mindset to be admired. Yes okay Umno has not allocated them funds. I do not speak about the language just to be at par with anyone else. It is the language of the world. China and Japan are huge who are we in that arena in size I mean. Btw I dont think just being pious and good hearted will get us to become economically powerful we need to work really hard at it. Ok I concede that they are resilient and resourceful but with PAS all other Islamic laws that they interperet with harsh meanings is not the way to go. No I dont agree with having Umno around anymore I have said so elsewhere.

    I believe that with ( good intentions in the Islamic way as you point out which is a private matter)good governance and hard work we can succeed and there is no need to label it anything.

    MY stand is we dont need to label it anything anymore that doesnt work. We need good foundations and good economic fundamentals and no more labelling in the management of the nation.

  19. And with being spohisticated I mean if we need to change with the times, for example , speaking english, then we should. We should not be afraid of change or different paths to us , within the Rule of Law. Extremes do not work. It is a command that we must choose the middle path in life.

    Since you guys think Nik Aziz has got it right, then what he does right should be combined with knowledge to bring M’sia into the 21st century mode and beyond without any labels to it.

  20. They rightly aspire to hudud laws? I disagree with that. The command f the Koran is tied to time. Hudud laws were for a people of that time? Now we have evolved, at least I hope to a more sophisticated Rule of Law system that allows spectrum of punishment in accordance with the crime. The Koran also commands justice being meted out. Surely for stealing there are other ways to deal with that. Have we undertook to investigate the context of the command in that time. Do you think we will go to hell for a legal system that allows for different levels of punishment.

  21. I used to like and admire the Tok Guru.
    But eversince he is friends with DAP and Keadilan, he is saying what is haram is halal and what is halal is haram to suit their politics.
    This confused us Malays and Muslims.

    P.s. Nik Aziz stays in a modest house in Kampung Pulau Melaka, about 7 km from KB. It’s also his birth-place.

  22. Kathy,
    We are of different sets. If you choose not to trust in the system of islam, its your choice. Even in Quran it says that there is no compulsion in religion. For you your beliefs and for us ours. period. Even if islam rules, there’ll be two sets of law, one for the nons and one for muslims just like it is today where we have syariah court for muslims and civil court for the nons. Don’t be afraid to have your hands chopped off if you steal something valuable because if you choose not be tried in the syariah court you’ll not be subjected to it…if of course only when you ARE a thief!

    Let’s come back to the point. Even though we have different views in religion, the fact is every human being wants a good governance and justice. As a muslim i want justice to be done to teoh beng Hock. I want those who killed Altantuya be brought to the court of law, not only the shooters but the planners as well, the masters behind the gruesome murder!

    Do justice being done to the late Kugan? And Guna? And what happened to PKFZ scandal that involved 12 billions ringgit of our hard earned money? Don’t you know that with that amount of money we can send our kids to university for free?! That’s our money damned it, don’t you care?

    What kind of leaders will ensure that the corruption wouldn’t happen the first place? the kind of leaders who are afraid of god’s torture! The kind that are too afraid to be subjected to the hell fire. These kind of leaders only exist when we choose the most pious person as our leader, the kind like Nik Aziz. Believe me!

  23. Hi guys. This is an interesting thread. I subscribe to the fact that the interpretation of the Koranic laws should be translated into the modern systems of laws. All religions put forth the philosophy of recognition of human rights, kindness and understanding. I think TGNA has that philosophy, and whatever skills he lacks can be delegated to his consultative council as someone mentioned.

  24. Hi Zane. Sometimes I say things here in order that we debate. I do believe in Islam. It is our interpretation that differs. Even that is allowed, to find our back to Him who created us all. I agree with you that we need honest leaders, those who enter the political arena must do so for the people and serve the people and be accountable. Yes it is you rmoney and you need change but you must undertsand that there are toher M’sians. My point of view is that we do not need two systems one for Muslims and one for non. One legal system is enough. The civil law system is good and has had thousands of years of practice and the judges are trained legally. Are the judges in syariah trained legally? In fact I think the muslim women and children are mistreated under the present syariah system.

    God’s torture? God doesnt torture, we wrong ourselves we choose the STATE of hell that we undergo individually or as a m nation. It is what we sow, we reap. Hell is not in the after life it is the here and now. The corruption the lies the cheating people, it is here and now.

  25. Kathy
    You need to read Hijacking of Islam by Aidid Safir. Then answer Bean on the concept of 72 virgins and all that stone worshipping idolatry.
    Being a leader in Islam carries a heavy burden. Even the prophet Muhammad pbuh had second thoughts and not willing to carry the burden. Read on the 4 Caliphs that succeded the Prophet. In the hereafter the leader will be asked, you were in a position to do good to mankind, why didn’t you do it? There were hungry people why didn’t you seek them out?
    On the hudud laws the simplistic explanation is if caught stealing chop off the hand. This is the BN scare tactic. In Islam if someone is caught stealing he/she will appear before a judge and the judge will rule based on circumstances. If the person steals because he is hungry then the judge need not pass sentence on the thief instead the judge can direct the community why they allow one of them to go hungry. I’m not a scholar of the Quran like you but I’ve read enough and listened to khutbahs that quotes the various Hadith qudsis that Islam has shown compassion instead of just punishing.

    I used to like and admire the Tok Guru.
    But eversince he is friends with DAP and Keadilan, he is saying what is haram is halal and what is halal is haram to suit their politics.
    This confused us Malays and Muslims- Bumi Boy

    Interesting point. So you say we Muslims cannot befriend non Muslims? Pray tell me specifically which or what did the TG Nik Aziz Halalkan something that is Haram? I’m sure TG Nik Aziz is beyond that. While on halal and haram, is corruption halal, is cheating halal, is accusing someone without proof or witness halal? There are two things MUslims can never agree to i.e. the Halal and the Hilal. Ponder on that for a while.

  26. Semper fi, I am not a scholar of the Koran. I have my own journey and learning. Mr bean always asks me my views and I give it and anyone is welcome to twart my view and quote the citation and I will do the same. In fact it is this that is lacking amongst us. It is not what I say that is important but what the world sees. Right now they see a scary intepretation. There is not enough of those who actually pracitse fair and just inteprretations. So we must all seek out what the correct and just intepretation is. With the intepretation of Islam there is a huge possibility of extremeist views as we already see. That is the scare.
    However in answering Mr Bean, I was answering him literally as he asked about the virgins. In my Sufi learning it is not a place as the majority view and interprete the Koran, it is a state of Being,in a state of Bliss or in a state of hell which is tied to our choices ( as spoken of in the Koran and witnessed in our daily lives). That in itself is another conversation for another day.

  27. Do they not ponder over the Qur’an in order to understand its deep meaning, or is it that their hearts are locked up from within?”(Qur’an 47:24)

    “Each and every reader comprehends the Holy Qur’an on a different level in tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are four levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that the majority of the people are content with. Next is the Batini – the inner level. Third, there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to remain indescribable.”

    – from the teachings of Shams e Tabriz, Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak

  28. Sufism, Kathy? Ok, i can relate to that. Here’s one for your mystical appreciation, from the Carmelite Monk St. John of the Cross (which sorta stimulated bean into a frenzy of Hillsongs). If you deem the images ‘haram’, you may just listen to the words and exegete from there. Music and poetry, of this calibre transcends all ‘anthropomorphic’ visions and versions of Truth. That is why Talibans and other Rabids, detest it – they’ll lop your ears!

  29. Semper fi, I will read the book you have suggested. Thank you.

    Menyalak-er, it is too complex, yet manifested all around us and we dont see, or see what we wish too. What is important is in our everyday living we carry the Rememberance of Him so that we do not do wrong and injure others by our thoughts, our very deeds. Thank you. It is beautiful.

  30. What? 40 Rules Of Love, james?
    Mana boleh.. ‘Love’ in this discussion is not how to ‘buat’. It is a state of being. Unless, you’re talking about KamaSutra’ish sorta thing.. In which case, we will all be most glad if you could just provide the link for the graphics. We will do the search so as to avoid injury. Might have to abandon Din for some respite. Afterall we are ‘obsessed with sex’, as per Kathy (8.02am). Hahaha..

  31. James the first lesson is, seek , which you just asked . The second is patience which you said you would be and the third for today is promise to be patient. So far you are on the right track towards the State of Being, listen to Menyalak-er, he knows.

  32. Seek? Seek and you will find? That’s Mathew 7.

    Menyalak-er has been seeking and he has yet to find. He is one of the most patient man to walk the earth and he is about to lose his patience. No sign of any virgin in his neck of the woods. Let alone 72 of them.

  33. Mention 72 virgins and Din’s blog suddenly came to life. That’s good. It is like Shrek on viagra or coping with a sudden overflow of testosterone. I am waiting for the arrival of Tok CIk and Tean whose expert knowledge on the subject whould help shed light on the issue. Then there is Frank who at the mention of religion would go beserk.

    It’s 4 am over here and I’m already wide awake, ready able and willing to plunge into aspects of a religious ideology that would help unite us all. At least the men.

  34. How on heaven(s) and earth, did we arrive at such a lusty debate, while discussing Tok Nik and religious ethics? I put the blame solely on Bean with his 72 houris. Must’ve been the prostate acting up again. Btw, does the 40 ‘rules’ mention anything about Ayrabs and camels?

  35. Menyalak-er,

    We are here deliberating on the issue of Islam being a political ideology. If PAS were to form part of the government, then the decades old drive towards increased Islamization under UMNO would be unstoppable. It would involve society’s re-structuring. Islam is more than just a religion. It is a political ideology. You need not check your religion at the door if you are a Muslim.

    There will be talk of 72 virgins all the way from the home to the office and from the office to the home. I have always believed that we need to check our religion at the door when we leave home.

  36. About 40% of Malaysians are not Muslim and we would be wrong to impose an ideology of the majority on the minority. All because of Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which allows fundamentalists to put their feet in the door. I put it to you guys that this was never the intention. But it wasn’t smart of whoever drafted the constitution to put in that Article. Religion has no place in government. It is personal.

    Contrary to the belief expressed by the Rt Hon. Leader of the Opposition I believe democracy and Islam are NOT compatible.

  37. Kathy,

    Bean, I have always been suspect of the compatibility, but as a non believer and uneducated in the religion, I cannot assert such beliefs due to my bias and ignorance. Hence, I need help from Kathy but she muddles my mind with complexities. Simplicity kills the “cat” I suppose.

  38. James, this is no ordinary kitty katty. Kat is a liberated Malay Muslim who has made it to Down Under. Don’t you go crazy over her 40 rules of love. I can only think of one.

  39. “..democracy and Islam are NOT compatible.” Bean

    I agree. They used to say the same about Christianity in Europe prior the Enlightenment. It’s too complicated to discuss it here, but suffice to say that modernity and humanistic progress imposes certain criteria that cannot be hedged. The most important, being the clear distinction between State and Religion. Secularization is essential for freedom.

    There can be no ‘westernized’ model of democracy, no matter how much they howl about ‘compatibility’ – unenlightened, as it is. The best under the circumstances would be to adopt a form of “Kemalism” which will face the wrath of the conservatives.

    Unfortunately, the trend is reversing even in Turkey. Mustapha Kemal Ataturk understood it well when he abolished the Caliphate in 1924: “The religion of Islam will be elevated if it will cease to be a political instrument, as had been in the past.” I leave the reading of Ataturk’s pragmatic doctrines to your perusal.

  40. You may want to consider the fact that Islam unlike the other religions is more than a religion. It is a political ideology. How then do you separate Islam from government?

    PAS’s political ideology is already different from that of the DAP. How then do two different entities separated by ideology work together? Granted they want to work together. We can persuade ourselves into thinking they can or we can. But the reality is different.

  41. I understand what you’re saying, buddy.
    There is no way forward, except to accept the reality and try to move one step at a time. Our time watching this world’s stage-play is almost up, and it doesn’t make much difference to the rest of the world of what we know and believe in. Accept and try to open other minds, each in our own little way.

    The conundrum of Islam being ‘more than’ a religion has also been asserted in Judaism. It is the reluctance by its adherents in challenging this dogma that is causing no end of grief. Judaism had it’s moments in Hasidic, Kabalah and it’s messianic movements (Sabbatai Zevi, the apostate etc.), yet modern Israel is secular. The Way is ‘mysterious’ to say the least.

    Islam is not monolithic and the divisions within itself (Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Ahmadi etc) are each others throats – much like the Christian Schisms of the Medieval (Orthodox-Latin) and Reformation (Latin-Protestant) Eras. We witness this repeatedly in Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. daily.

    The evolution into a religion of peace does not seem to be forthcoming, due to the derth of new forms of jurisprudence and ability to exegete in translations other than that of Arabic. Only time will tell whether Islam as a political movement and a ‘way of life’ will change into something akin to the western secular and spiritual Enlightenment. The younger Western educated ones like Kathy may hold the key, but when the push becomes a shove, all hell breaks loose.

  42. “The younger Western educated ones like Kathy may hold the key, but when the push becomes a shove, all hell breaks loose.”

    When push comes to shove, Kathy goes shopping.

    Kathy says she has found sufism. The problem with sufism is that it focusses on ‘wali’ and that means a religious philosophy that would take us on the proverbial slippery slope towards fascism.

  43. Hi This is “kitty katty” here and maybe we do hold the key. Sometimes we do go shopping when push comes to shove however indeed it is a challenge to change the ideals and perception of “defending the faith” as it were. Not that the faith has to be defended .It is our misconception but it is our Soul that has to be defended against impurities actually.Once we do that then the outward conduct will be plure.

    The question or greater challenge is how do we defend our Soul internally and outwardly be a savvy and contemporary Human Being ( in honour of our Creator) in this world too.

    Just read Zakgaz at 9.21am he is right, it can be compatible with Human rights and fairness democracy and justice . The difficulty is that the people of the faith wont allow it. They have this need to “Rule the World” as it were. They misunderstand the command “it is a way of life”. What that put simply is that we cleanse our heart inwardly ( in the wee hours of the morning, and the quiet fo the night wihich is the best for the Soul to find its Source) and then go during th day and search , lawfully, our livelihood( word hard at it as if you are going to live forever is the command). Isnt that what the world advocates anyway? Once you are done searching for your livelihood and living in honour and in constant rememberance of Him ( constant Dzikir and this stops one from doing evil deeds, this constant rememberance,not leave God in the mosque for God is not in stone walls) then in the quiet of the night do as much as you can to (inwardly or outwardly)turn to Him once again. There is even a command that He wishes no burden upon us and read as much as you can or are permitted too within your circumstances of your life, the Koran.

    James it is that simple really. Do not complicate Him and ascribe Him our human prejudices.Tha is the start of turning towards Him, then the rest can follow later , whatever path you wish to choose then He will guide you daily, indeed we must invoke His guidance so we do no wrong. This is living in awareness.

  44. You see Menyalak-er, we young ones are free from what the older malays went tthrough, ie, the land being taken by the “aliens” as it were. We are free fo that torment thanks to the fight of the older ones. Thank you we are grateful for that. Our “struggles” are not anymore. We want to be at peace and work hard and given equal opportunities to prove ourselves. We understand that with hardwork we can achieve there is no need anymore to fight over what is mine or yours. That is yesterdays battle. There is only hardwork and will be repaid and rewarded ( this is promised in my Holy Book too and I believe). So we do not want the old struggle anymore, we want to live this life and obtain our share fairly with the dignity that we have. And we can do it. The overseas M’sians are doing it and there is no reason why we cannot do it back home too.

  45. Can I offer my two-cents worth, which is another or from a ” different ” perspective : if any of the readers dont agree, please let me know why, so that I may or may not be able to respond – thanks for that.
    All said and done, here is what I am saying, which I feel convinced about :


    ( which people generally label as ” Secular )

    There has never been and can never be a ” theocratic ” state ( so-called theocratic form of government ). Even if a few had tried, it had never succeeded, anywhere in the world.

  46. The ‘old’ Malays went through something? Don’t think so. They got what they wanted, and more. They were blissful and remain so. That’s called rent-seeking in perpetuity. It’s you, young one’s who have to fight the perception that things were handed down on a silver platter, if not a silver spoon.

    Don’t get me wrong, i’ll have tremendous respect for the Malay youth of today – if they were all like you. Unfortunately, they are rare. Thoroughly brain and anal-washed by our wonderful education system to become fascist overlords, whose favorite pharse is: “Saya mahu!”. I will say the same for the typical Chinapek youth, whose ability to converse has deteriorated to “Apa lu mau?” and the Indian chap: “Engeporingey?’ (Where are you guys going?)

    You see Kat, the whole edifice that pretends to exist as Malaysia, is badly broken right from it’s foundations when the affirmative policies went wrong and got corrupted over the past 4 decades. In my youth, i stoutly defended the NEP as promulgated by the 2nd PM since i was an awestruck ‘socialist’. But as in all things in life, good things become corrupt as soon as evil, self-serving politicians come a-creeping. Din, Bean, Tok Cik, Frank, Semper, Tean and many more have seen this decay. We are not pleased..

  47. They rightly aspire to hudud laws? I disagree with that. The command f the Koran is tied to time. Hudud laws were for a people of that time? Now we have evolved, at least I hope to a more sophisticated Rule of Law system that allows spectrum of punishment in accordance with the crime. The Koran also commands justice being meted out. Surely for stealing there are other ways to deal with that. Have we undertook to investigate the context of the command in that time. Do you think we will go to hell for a legal system that allows for different levels of punishment.

    Those true Muslims should have no problems under Hudud. Try the below 4 proposed mutually exclusive districts so everyone has their own space.

    4 DISTRICT TYPES to encompass the diversity of Human expression in Malaysia.

    (1) Hudud – Voluntary submission to strictest Islam are a right of Muslims
    (2) Halal – All Muslims should come under this automatically.
    (3) Haram/Liberal – Modern Civil Law with MALAYSIAN diversity in mind. All non-Muslims come under this law. Muslims may enter these areas.
    (4) Diversity Districts – For LGBT / Nudist Colonies / Red Light Districts / Gambling / Netherlands Hash-Green Bars. These should be limited to international areas so Malaysian tourism remains competitive, foreigners at home and not be considered mainstream. Muslims may NOT enter these areas so that the morality issue will not be a problem being separated from Muslims altogether.

    Any way to further improve so that everyone whatever their lifestyle preference will have a space?

  48. I think we should not be caught up in semantics – we become embroiled & ” trapped ” with words from different languages.
    ” Haram ” ” Halal ” ( things permissable & forbidden ) embody in addition matters of ” khurrafah “, ie : excesses. abuses, corruption, depravity of the mind….etc which are forbidden in all religeons. It is so or even MORE in Western democratic system.
    We should not fall into the trap to be ” taksub ” when someone with full regalia of outward piety, proclaiming ” haram ” & ” halal ” so he is a very good leader ( beramanah ) –
    May be so, but that’s INSUFFICIENT to feed the welfare or well-being of the people he governs.
    That’s why in the ” Secular ” concept the Leader MUST in addition have a team of technocrats who has the knowledge & skills to exploit the State’s resources or ” material wealth ” & redistribute them for the upliftment of poverty & for better quality of life etc.
    So the point is, it does not matter if humans ” label ” it as a Secular state, if people with power do not abuse & indulge in corrupt practices to only enrich themselves, as opposed to Religeonists/spiritualists who are so pure & clean, BUT have no clue how to tap material resources for the benefit of the poverty-striken masses living in abject wants of worldly necessities.
    Both the Secular & the Theocratic forms of government have its own weaknesses which, to me , is ” corrupt & deprave ” in the form of neglect & abuses : the one because of greed, the other arising out of ” ignorance & indolence…”

  49. Agreetodisagree @ Nov3rd at 6.52am. I disagree with everything you have put up there. It is not up to the state to regiulate good or bad conduct. That is reserved for God. Judgement of good or bad conduct ( ie good or bad choices) will be judged only by the One that owns us all. This world is not Haram neither are the non moslems. Everyone was created by God ( Allah since there is only one God). So your artificial dileanation shows the Ego of man.

  50. And Abinizar7 is right deparavity of men is wrong in all cicilised nations. Right is right in the Koran adn worng is worng in the Koran. So do not now try to differentiate the meanings of it further. The Rule of law in thsi world as practiced by the first world countries are in harmony with God’s laws.

  51. Yes we all agree to disagree is the foremost fundamental norm for human co-existence that forms the basis for civilised interaction.
    ” Morality ” ? Who can lay claim to morality of such perfection so as to be the ” guardian -angel ” to enforce morality everywhere, as much as there are human beings in this world ? What is the quantum of measure between something moral and immoral ? In other words, it will be something well-nigh impossible to enforce morality ” Legally ” – that’s for sure !
    Anyway, what has been ” humanly ” possible, we muslims & non-muslims alike, to the extent we are able to distinguish things ” right ” from “wrong” , legal & non-legal, we have placed them in the civil court system & jurisdiction for proper dispensation.
    What is the insufficiency in that ? OR , do we muslims mean that the various laws enforced in the civil courts : from murder to tresspass, libels & slanders, rapes etc extending to civil cases proper like breaches of contracts , civil disputes etc etc ARE NOT ” ISLAMIC ” IN NATURE ? ? I beg to differ, if anyone says no.
    That’s the main reason I suggest, that if the present ( dual ) Syariah law jurisdiction is mainly CONFINED to Islamic Family laws pertaining to marriage & divorce, inheritence, and conjugal right matters, this could have been properly merged as a DIVISION in the total Civil Court system, why cannot it be done ? But to have a dual system in any nation, is I suggest a CONFUSION OF THOUGHTS…..

  52. I have to make my statement clearer. I am opposed to the dilieanation based on morals or spiritual realm ,halal or haram. We cannot play God ,we are not God!

  53. Sorry Bumi boy ,

    It is the muslims all over the world generally, and malay ” muslims ” in particular who have misunderstood terminologies like ” haram ” & ” halal ” etc, and going purely by their ” labels ” thus interpretating things through mere ” indoctrinations ” !

    As long as someone in heavy garb or in embroided regalia pronounces ” haram ” or ” halal ” , that’s it, that is the panaecia to all ills ! As if pronouncements alone is all that magical, holding on to the proverbial ” banana-skin not fully knowing what ” banana ” actually it is inside ” ….. saying things easy, but misinterpretations cause havoc everywhere in the world !

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