Monday, February 02, 2009

Al Fatihah - Ustaz Ismail Mahmud - MEMALI

Saya menerima emel kabar berikut
Bahawa Ustaz Ismail Mahmud telah kembali ke rahmatullah pada jam 4.50ptg 2hb Feb 2009. Jenazahnya akan disempurnakan di Masjid Kuang pada jam 8.30 pagi 3hb Feb 2009. Semoga rohnya digolongkan dalam golongan para solihin. Al Fatihah..

Aruah Ustaz merupakan adik kepada As-Syahid Ustaz Ibrahim Libya, yang dibunuh oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional pada tahun November 1985 dalam peristiwa Memali. Ketika itu saya berada di New Zealand dan ketika mendengar berita itu, saya begitu amat sedih, marah walaupun sarat membaca propaganda kerajaan Barisan Nasional.

Saya menulis sajak Memali yang tersiar dalam akhbar WATAN, menghentam rejim BN, Sajak itu termasuk dalam antologi WAIKATO yang diterbitkan DBP (2000).

Setelah pulang belajar, antara pertama yang saya lakukan ialah melawat pusara syuhada di Memali. Kesempatan bersama (sekarang YB) Zulkifli Noordin melawat sebelum subuh dimana enjin kereta sewa kami mati (dan peristiwa itu agak melucukan...) betul-betul di depan papan tanda 'PUSARA SYUHADA'.

Akhirnya rezeki dari Allah, salah seorang mangsa tragedi Memali dan adik As Syahid Ustaz Ibrahim Libya sendiri menjadi rakan baik saya sewaktu sama-sama bertugas di TV3 kemudiannya. Saya selalu keluar dengan beliau selain tidak jemu mendengar cerita aruah ustaz Ismail.

Sebelum kami dibuang dari TV3 dalam zaman reformasi, sewaktu saya berbulan kena 'cold storage', saya pernah menjadi 'pengurus' dan 'pemandu' untuk ceramah beliau di beberapa syarikat korporat sekitar Wilayah Persekutuan. Manis kenangan itu. Ustaz banyak mengajar saya mengenai hal-hal berkaitan agama dan perjuangan.

Aruah Ustaz juga banyak bercerita pengalaman beliau sewaktu dalam tahanan ISA. Penderaan demi penderaan oleh kekejaman BN menjadikan saya lebih geram terhadap kepimpinan United Malay National Organisation. Bayangkan hanya berseluar dalam untuk beberapa bulan....

Semuga Allah memberkati roh aruah ustaz Ismail Mahmud yang saya sayangi ini dan diletakkan dalam golongan mereka yang soleh.

The abandoned cars in Dubai as the indicator of economy

There is a new big parking space near my office to park unsold cars. The car sales have dropped drastically as well as local police have found at least 3,000 automobiles -- sedans, SUVs, regulars -- abandoned outside Dubai International Airport in the last four months.
Police say most of the vehicles had keys in the ignition, a clear sign they were left behind by owners in a hurry to take flight. A large number of such owners are from Indian, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries
The global economic crisis has brought Dubai's economic progress, mirrored by its soaring towers and luxurious resorts, to a stuttering halt. Several people have been laid off in the past months after the realty boom started unraveling.

In the Gulf, the truth about the economy might be found in counting cars

From Monday's Globe and Mail
February 2, 2009 at 12:00 AM EST
DUBAI — Here's my definitive litmus test for the resilience and depth of Dubai as a place that can continue to expand economically after weathering the current global economic recession: How many abandoned cars are actually parked at the Dubai airport?
In a land of superlatives and seemingly endless hyper growth, the scale of the stories circulating about the number of abandoned cars at the airport is equally gigantic. In the past few weeks in Beirut, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I have heard friends and acquaintances report authoritatively that, variously, 15,000 or 10,000 or 6,000 cars have been parked and abandoned at the airport by their foreign owners. These people lost their jobs, did not have enough money to complete their car payments, and found the easiest way out was to park their car at the airport and leave town for good.
The variety of stories circulating about this little drama is matched by the range of reports one reads and hears in the Gulf about the real state of the local economies in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Dubai and other emirates - from deep disaster, to a manageable two-year recession, to a simple little blip on the charts that will see economic growth only drop slightly from 9 to 6 per cent, or something of that magnitude that totally removes any impact of a global economic collapse, miraculously detouring around these enchanted lands.
The abandoned cars are a good barometer of two important dynamics: Some core, critical facts and figures about their economies are simply not known to the public, but at least the gap in verifiable data is bridged by splendid rumours.
Foreign and local investors need to know the truth about these economies that have grown so impressively, in large part due to surplus oil wealth shifting into speculative investments in real-estate projects. If investors have doubts about the economic facts of these sheikdoms and emirates, they will quickly send their money to other markets where the facts are known. Investors do not mind bad news about economic losses or retrenchment. What they despise and fear is being left in the dark about economic realities.
Also, providing accurate, verifiable information about the realities of the economic downturn in the Gulf may be the first major "political" test these countries face in modern times. They can cement relations between citizens and their state on the basis of something more enduring than short-term materialism. If they can speak honestly to their own citizens and provide them with a clear, comprehensive picture of current conditions and expected trends, they will have enriched the entire Arab world with an example of true pioneering development and state-building that is much more meaningful than a shopping mall or a Hummer showroom.
We need one Arab government - just one - that will react to the global and regional economic recession by speaking the truth to its people, disclosing real unemployment rates, debt buyouts, contraction or expansion trends, and other such things. I have not seen such an example to date, but I suspect that the first Arab government that musters the courage to speak honestly will reap a reward of rare and incalculable proportions: the trust of its people.
I would like to hear one sheik, emir, king, sultan, president-for-life, or wise and vanguard-beloved leader of the dazed and pulverized masses explain the true extent of the crisis that is upon us, and ask for citizen participation in weathering the storm and generating ideas for coming out of it in decent shape.
The various emirates throughout the Gulf region that have grown at breakneck speed in the past three decades are having to adjust to supply-and-demand economic realities after living through nearly four decades in which they thought that they operated by different rules.
These statelets have enjoyed sufficient income to keep their citizens living happily for the most part, and also to offer jobs to millions of guest workers, while generating spectacular speculative investment opportunities for all those who dared to gamble. Now that the speculative bubble has burst, citizens, guest workers and rootless investors alike need some accurate news about just how bad or manageable things really are.
Anybody can be a popular leader by offering endless commercial contracts when the oil wealth is flowing non-stop. But only real leaders succeed when times are hard, oil income is down and economies are shrinking, and they maintain their credibility by telling their people the truth about the difficult times.
The current economic recession is a moment that cries out for an Arab leader who can speak truthfully to his people on the issues of the day that really matter, including how many abandoned cars may be parked at the airport. I suspect that the chances of this happening in the emirates and sheikdoms of the Gulf are probably higher than in any other Arab region - if the Gulf's self-image of pioneering, orderly, humane national development is a fact rather than mostly an image.
Rami Khouri is editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star and director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.

Ali Rustam takes lead as UMNO Deputy Prez?

After meeting Muhyiddin in Dubai, this Malay Mail report could be good news for those who like to see the demise of United Malay National Organisation.
We pray Ali Rustam or Mat Tyson to be the new deputy president of United Malay National Organisation by this March....
Whatever the reasons given below, money talks and walks....and the high price determines the real winner of the jackpot of power

Muhyiddin outpaced in Umno No 2 race, say observers

By Zainal Epi

The ground is abuzz with word that Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has taken the lead in the lively contest for the Umno deputy president’s post.
While there is no way of verifying this, a substantial number of political observers are convinced that Mohd Ali has overtaken International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, touted as the crowd favourite, to sit next to Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Umno’s highest ranks come March.
Muhyiddin, if one is to believe his detractors, has “lost quite a bit of ground”, despite being thought to be “invincible” after his call for the resignation of party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Some are convinced that he would not be a good deputy as he is too strong a character and would challenge Najib. Others attribute his loss of ground in the Umno leadership battle to his purported “unfriendliness”.

Big Mama a.k.a Rosmah says "I Don't bloody care!"

“Muhyiddin’s lobbyists are still selling the same story of his calling on Pak Lah to step down, and for the handing over of power to Najib be sped up. It worked in the days leading to the nominations, but there are now other factors to be considered,” said a campaigner.
“During our meetings now, we talk about how a leader can contribute to strengthening Umno and the president’s position, how to defend the party and Barisan Nasional from attacks launched by the Opposition, among others,” said the campaigner.
“There is talk that the second highest ranked party man must not be too ambitious and pose the threat of unseating the number one man later. This is important because we want absolute loyalty, so that our energy can be focused on strengthening the party and not on internal squabbles.”
The campaigner said the word sombong (snobbish) is sometimes used to describe Muhyiddin’s character and this has worked against his acceptance by some delegates.
Mohd Ali, on the other hand, is said to be popular, approachable and “less threatening” than Muhyiddin.
“He is being aided by members of youth councils and other youth organisations who are also delegates to the party assembly,” said another campaigner.
Mohd Ali is the president of the Malaysian Youth Council and also the president of the World Association of Malaysian Youth (WAMY), and has been supportive of their causes for some time now.
Campaigners said there were some 700 delegates under this category alone.