Sunday, January 27, 2013

Between politics and fame. It's sexy, it's hip, it's road to stardom.

Salaam.

Finalising my drafts at this very end of my lifeline makes me understand albeit a little more than before as to why politicians or political scholars or just mere pundits get the fair share of fame and superstardom (almost), instantly.

Not only the topic is vast and dense and somewhat draining at times, but POLITICS is about everyday life. It touches everyone no matter how hard one tries to be apolitical about it. Trying to understand politics is hard, trying to write about it, gets harder. But not as hard as trying to be in it. Try live and breath politics - that's living on a war zone. It's dangerous, muddy, back-biting aplenty, rewards are great too, temptations to self-glorification abundance.

As a student of Politics - although my masters degree reads 'Strategic and Defense Studies', it focuses more on the International Relations subjects akin to studying politics. Addendum, thesis surrounds on political communication - I can safely conclude myself as a political student (somewhat).

According to TheFreeDictionary.Com, stardom is the fame and prestige of being in films, sport etc. Notice the etcetera - politics is one, I might add. I could deduce, that the lure to politics can also be of that fame, although many more are into obtaining financial securities i.e. projects, big salary, big house, big cars, big wife(?)etc. Money is always the motivation for any job and politics of that being a politician is a job.

What about those political scholars or analyst? What's in it for them? Is the salary of a scholar lucrative these days? I don't think so. At least not in government institutions. I rarely see university lecturer drives a Mercedes or BMW or AUDI or PORCHE (and if they do, mostly bought their first Merc or BMW while on a sponsored overseas studying course with the blessing of AP license).

The many books from many more resources needed for  writing
So for the scholars (pseudo included) and pundits - clearly money is not the main drive. It must have been fame then. To quote the famous (and dangerously good looking too even as he's aged) Dr. Farish Noor, he too was 'baffled' as to why he became famous. He said "all I did was to write about history (and politics too eh Doc), and the next day I became a rock star."

Don't believe me? Take a quick hop on the blogosphere and with a little help of wizard Google, and look at those scholars (pseudo included) and pundits that have made politics their main dietary of literature and see where they have arrived (or arriving) now, at least within the Websphere. Their blogs hits thousands per day, their social media accounts have hundreds if not thousands of followers and growing. They're slowly making influence, they are slowly paving way to fame, to stardom.

Point I am getting to is this: I take on political communication studies because I have always been fixated on it (I know, cliche doesn't it? But wait). I remember vividly last four years while filling out that scholarship form, I had to choose a course from four options provided as follows:

a) Visual Communication
b) Interpersonal Communication
c) Mass Communication
d) Political Communication

Of all the above, I chose option (d) without a blink. It was a clear choice, at first. A few moments later, I rationalise the options I have. As I have always been fond of politics, I knew as noted here, that it can be dense and draining to actually embark on a serious studies of politics. My inner voice was telling me to go for the safest best, option (c).

Now, option (c) did look promising. It was something that I have built on throughout five years of tertiary education and another four years of professional practice. I know option (c) well, that I think I can score on option (c) equally well. Safest bet.

But wait, option (d). Now, here's a sexy looking topic. It's hot, it's head-spinning, it's devious, it's mind-blowing, it's hard, it's unknown, it's vast, it's treacherous, it's entrapment. I have had no clue who the father of realism was, what post-modernism is, what's International Relations Theory, and all things glory of politics (in its philosophical terms, the web of perplexing thoughts of ontology and epistemology). Heck, not a speck I know of (and still don't quite understand fully). All I know, and heard, that it is exciting. The excitement lies in the bewilderment of sophisticated texts and terms coined hundred of years before. Didn't know that Pluto (the planet) and Plato is two different thing. That's how doped I was on the course.

Naturally, as human that is easily weaken with worldly temptations, I gave in to the devil. I gave in to Politics. I chose thee over being safe. I chose thee over being easy. I chose thee over being modest. I wanted to go in-depth, I wanted to explore the wonders, traverse the obscure obfuscation of truths, in life. I picked option (d).

Fast-forward: Inching my third year in postgrad studies of that merely of MA, I was lost most of the time in my second year not to the enchantments of studying politics, but mostly to the challenges of life. I was losing grip so badly, made me loathe life and cursed the option I had made. I cursed and blamed option (d). I cursed and blamed life for choosing option (d). I cursed and blamed life, basically. Alas, truth will prevails and perseverance is the only key for success. I know now cursing and blaming won't help me cross the bridge. I learnt life have many obstacles not because it is meant to prick you but to teach you to be better. I learnt there's always blessings in every calamities we encounter. I learnt the best resort is to turn to Allah SWT. The Almighty, the All knowing. As Randy Pausch said beautifully, "Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things."

I badly want this thing. I badly need to want this thing badly. I badly need to paralyse resistance in getting to this thing badly with persistence.

Not because of stardom. Not because option (d) is Sexy. Not because money. Not because career. But simply because to finish what was started. To defy and conquer the weakness in me. To have that end for a new beginning and everything in between. Amin Ya Rabb.

The workspace. Working with two computers, alternately whenever I get bored (Read; lousy way to motivate self) 
Right. This blabber is done. Flushed out my stress. Now, getting back on real world. Be nice to me world.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Angka 13 bawa bencana politik: Datuk Noor Azam

Salam! 
Catitan kali ini lebih kepada bentuk "repost" atau mengulang-siar satu artikel nukilan Datuk Noor Azam, yang juga bekas Pengarah Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, selain pernah juga duduk di kerusi Pengerusi TV3 di awal tahun 1990-an; kini dirapatkan ukhwah dengan keluarga kami menerusi pertalian perkahwinan adik saya dengan cucu lelaki beliau. 

Sebelum ikatan tersebut, kami sudah tahu beliau yang bergelar Datuk adalah "seseorang" dalam kelompok tersendiri, namun sikap rendah diri Datuk, bersahaja dan tidak pernah sekali pun mendabik dada (malah anak-beranak beliau juga bersikap demikian) pernah menjadi itu dan ini, membuatkan kami (setidaknya aku, rasa kagum) terhadap beliau. 

Malah, apabila "bertembung" dengan artikel berikut ini yang ditulis pada 2010 tambah rasa hormat dan segan aku terhadap penulisan dan tahap intelektual beliau, yang boleh dikira sebagai 'visionary'. Yang tinggal kini, untuk kita lihat sama ada 'prophecy' Datuk Noor Azam benar atau tidak menjelang PRU13 kelak (harap tidak). 

Angka 13 Bawa Bencana Politik? 
SATURDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2010 08:48 MARHAEN


DATUK NOOR AZAM ialah bekas Setiausaha Politik kepada Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

TIADA lagi esok untuk kita! Kuasa politik kita yang dominan yang diwarisi sejak zaman Melaka dan dipegang kuat selama 54 tahun akan hilang. Berdasarkan realiti dan sentimen politik pengundi sekarang, bencana politik ini akan terjadi pada Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU) Ke-13. Paling lama, dua tahun saja lagi! Ada orang percaya dan hampir percaya, angka 13 membawa bencana.

Ahli Parlimen DAP, Teo Nie Ching, ketika melawat pejabat Harakah mengatakan, beliau "yakin dan percaya UMNO tidak akan mendapat undi masyarakat Cina pada PRU ke-13." Beliau diundang berceramah dan beri bantuan di dalam surau. Banyak benar kita bercakap tentang Islam tetapi bantuan untuk surau pun, kita minta daripada orang bukan Islam. Di mana maruah kita?

Mungkin Teo terlupa memberitahu Harakah, "Penyokong Pas akan tetap mengundi DAP, kerana mereka percaya DAP lebih baik daripada UMNO. Mereka lebih percaya orang Cina daripada orang Melayu." Pemimpin DAP sudah diundang memberi ceramah dan bantuan dalam surau dan masjid.

Orang Pas sangat bangga. "Tengoklah, Pas berjaya bawa Cina masuk ke dalam surau. Bagi duit pula".

Pemimpin dan penyokong Pas megah kerana pemimpin DAP baca ayat al-Quran semasa kempen pilihan raya. Beri sumbangan untuk majlis berkhatan. DAP tak sokong negara Islam, tetapi menyokong Pas, sebab Pas sekarang bukan lagi 'Parti Islam', tetapi 'Parti untuk Semua'.
Teo mungkin terlupa, "Majlis Syura Pas telah bersetuju dan membenarkan orang bukan Islam bertanding di bawah lambang Pas. Zaman dulu, Pas tuduh UMNO kafir kerana berpakat dengan MCA untuk memerintah, tetapi sekarang 'Pas baru' pimpinan Tok Guru Abdul Hadi dan Tok Guru Nik Aziz boleh ikut memerintah dengan DAP. Di Pulau Pinang, khatib pun mendoakan Lim Guan Eng dalam khutbah Jumaat. Banyak lagi alasan mengapa pengundi Cina tak akan undi UMNO, tetapi pasti akan undi DAP.

Maka kehilangan kuasa Melayu ini bukan suatu dongeng. Ia telah terjadi di Pulau Pinang, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh dan Petaling Jaya sekarang. Hal ini terjadi disebabkan majoriti pengundi bukan Melayu berada di kawasan bandar.

Kita boleh kira berapa kerusi yang akan dimenangi DAP dan Pas. Seperti yang pernah berlaku di Perak, Pas pun boleh duduk dengan megahnya di bawah bayangan kuasa DAP. Fakta ini, semua tahu. Lebih daripada tahu! Tak payah diulang-ulang. Tak payah diperingatkan oleh Teo Nie Ching "Orang Cina tidak akan undi UMNO."
Akan tetapi masih ramai orang Melayu, termasuk pemimpin politik dan generasi muda, tidak menganggap perubahan ini suatu kecelakaan besar. Orang seperti Datuk Nazri Aziz mungkin tak kisah, sebab beliau "rakyat Malaysia terlebih dulu, barulah orang Melayu". Tok Guru Nik Aziz pun "tak bangga jadi Melayu".

Bagi orang yang sama sikap dengan mereka ini, siapa perintah negara dan jadi Perdana Menteri pun sama saja. Akan tetapi bukankah Datuk Nazri seorang menteri dan Ketua Bahagian serta Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO? Beliau tak wajar lagi memegang semua jawatan itu mewakili parti kebangsaan Melayu. Betullah ramai pemimpin kita yang bercelaru, lantas Melayu pun bercelaru.

Kata Raja Muda Perak, Raja Dr. Nazrin, umat Islam di negara ini sudah "tenggelam punca". Tun Mahathir telah banyak kali sangat memberi amaran.

Beliau memerintah negara dan menjadi Pengerusi BN selama 22 tahun. Mengepalai BN bertarung dalam lima pilihan raya. Ada pilhan raya yang BN menang besar dan ada yang hampir hilang kuasa. Beliau kalah di Kelantan, Terengganu dan Sabah. Mengalami dua krisis UMNO yang sangat besar. Pada zamannya, UMNO pecah dua dan diharamkan di mahkamah.

Beliau turut berhadapan dengan raja-raja kerana meminda Perlembagaan. Ada orang Melayu menggelar beliau "Maha Firaun" dan ada orang UMNO kata, dia "diktator". Beliau menangani krisis kewangan yang gawat. Dan macam-macam krisis dan cabaran lagi. Dihadapi dan diselesaikan satu persatu.

Apabila mengundurkan diri tanpa terpaksa atau dipaksa, dan menyerahkan kuasa kepada Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi; BN, UMNO dan negara berada dalam keadaan yang kukuh dan stabil. Bukan dalam masa kekalahan! Maka pemerhatian politiknya tajam dan berdasarkan pengalaman dan fakta yang nyata. Amarannya bukanlah wayang politik dan suka-suka.

Tan Sri Harussani, Mufti Perak, seorang ulama dan bukan orang politik yang telah cuba memperkukuh politik Melayu, akhir-akhir ini ikut prihatin dan mengingatkan: "Jika UMNO dan Pas tidak bersatu, Melayu akan hilang kuasa pada PRU ke-13" dan "Akan berlaku satu bentuk penjajahan baru." Lebih daripada itu, dalam masa dua tahun terakhir ini, beberapa orang Raja Melayu pun, sudah berkali-kali memberi nasihat dan amaran. Tidak pernah Raja-Raja Melayu bercakap politik seperti sekarang. Tidakkah ini alamat keruntuhan kedaulatan institusi Raja Melayu sudah bermula?

Raja Dr. Nazrin bimbang masa depan umat Islam di negara ini yang katanya berada "dalam suasana kritikal, bagaikan tenggelam punca". Katanya lagi, "Penderitaan dan penghinaan yang menimpa sebahagian umat Islam di Palestin, Afghanistan dan Iran, bermula daripada pemesongan di kalangan pemimpin yang rela membuka laluan kepada orang bukan Islam untuk melakukan pencerobohan serta kemusnahan terhadap bumi dan umat Islam sendiri."

Justeru baginda mengingatkan: "Pencerobohan besar bermula daripada perbuatan kecil. Ia mungkin bermula dari surau, madrasah, masjid atau sebuah mimbar. Ia bermula daripada satu ungkapan, ucapan, khutbah, tazkirah atau doa.

"Ia bermula daripada pencerobohan kecil, ketika orang Islam masih belum insaf, berdegil dan sombong mempertahankan ego serta memilih untuk bertelagah. Mereka sebenarnya memberi petanda yang salah, seolah-olah menggalakkan pencerobohan lebih besar boleh dilakukan ke atas umat dan institusi Islam."

Antara perubahan utama yang akan dilakukan apabila pakatan Pas-DAP-PKR memerintah adalah meminda Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan Negeri, mengubah pengagihan jawatan menteri, ketua-ketua jabatan kerajaan, polis dan tentera dan ketua eksekutif GLC, PNB, TNB, dan Telekom Malaysia. Menambah kawasan pilihan raya di kawasan bandar. Mereka juga akan mengadakan semula pilihan raya untuk Dewan Bandar Raya, Majlis Bandaran dan Kerajaan Tempatan. DBKL pasti akan berubah wajah. Maka bermulalah "penjajahan baru" yang disebut Tan Sri Harussani.

PRU ke-12 adalah tsunami politik dan amaran Allah. Malangnya pemimpin politik Melayu-Islam masih terus bertelagah merebut kuasa, jawatan, pangkat dan kekayaan. Sejarah kejatuhan Empayar Rom, Empayar Islam dan kemusnahan kuasa kerajaan-kerajaan Melayu, nampaknya tidak mampu mengajar kita.

Justeru, kecelakaan politik yang akan menimpa kita bukanlah kerana 'nasib' tetapi kerana perbuatan kita sendiri. Maka janganlah kita selalu sedih 'mengenangkan nasib' kerana ini sikap orang yang mengaku tewas sebelum berjuang.

Hakikatnya, asas dan kunci kekuatan Melayu berada di tangan Melayu. Jangan kita lupa bahawa pertubuhan-pertubuhan Melayulah yang menubuhkan UMNO dan sepanjang perjuangan UMNO, di belakangnya bergerak secara konsistan pelbagai macam pertubuhan Melayu, termasuk pertubuhan pegawai kerajaan, penghulu, penulis, wartawan dan guru.

Meskipun adakala mereka tidak sekata dengan UMNO, tetapi mereka tetap setia bersama UMNO. Di situlah kekuatan UMNO. Kekuatan sebenar yang telah terbukti selama setengah abad, bukan kekuatan dalam pesta makan minum berbaju batik aneka warna.

Penghuni Gua : Fikirkan . Melayu semua kena fikirkan. Pengundi muda perlu serius untuk fikirkan pandangan Dato Noor Azam ini.

2. Jangan kita jadi pandir. Ayam terlepas , tangan bau tahi. Untuk membangunkan sesuatu bangsa dan negara ia memerlukan masa bertahun-tahun. Jika nak rosakkan ia hanya boleh berlaku tak sampai sehari. Fikirkan.

3. Semua pihak boleh berjanji syurga dunia dan akhirat . Terutama senang berjanji jika kita tak memegang kuasa. Boleh bercakap apa sahaja. Jadi jangan harapkan janji manis atau cahaya dihujung terowong yang belum tentu akan bersinar terang. Bernegara ini bukan bahan ujikaji. Yang ada perlu dikekalkan. Ia boleh diperbaiki jika ada kekurangan. Bukan merobohkan apa yang telah terpasak kukuh.

4. Fikirkan!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Auld Lang Syne, Comes forth 2013

Another year. Another year wiser perhaps? Another chance to make-up for all the missing spots, the broken promises, self and to others. Another 365 days of hopes and dreams, blessed with opulence and happiness. 

Ah, yes. It all seems so easy and...predictable. Very habitual, almost. Year in, year out. Lest the spirit remains, at every 1st of January on every Roman calendar - self button's reset, and to be all brand new is the aspirations. 

And the familiarity of that Auld Lang Syne song, for although it was originally a Christmas carols, such familiarity it has with our own culture - that every year end, we are reminded by it, at least I do. 

Auld Lang Syne, my friends, is in old Scottish dialect which means "Old Long Ago". The first line of the song says it all ...

"Should Auld (old) acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?"

The answer is: Nay. but of course, with a little exception. The bitter ones ought to be forgotten, Surely one must not linger with bitter memories. 

For the Japanese on the other hand, celebrating the New Year is a HUGE deal. With such customs and festivities akin to any other cultures i.e. Muslims with its Eids and the Christians with their Christmas. It is called "shogatsu". And the way they say "akemashita omedeto gozaimasu kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu" which loosely translated as Happy New Year, may this year be as helpful as the last. 

As for me, this 2013 is the year of aspirations. Continuing, basically the hopes and dreams of yesteryears. While the anxiety remains the same, that feeling of not knowing what lies ahead, the same way many, many New Years have had for me (and everyone am sure); this year marks a little different. 

Baby sis have just got married with her beau of 7 years in the final weeks of December. So that is a relief. All the preparations and excitement for one, final wedding in the Ab Raman's clan have seen its closure. 

In the face of many unknown adversities and visible ones, I stand persevere, determine to stay abreast of all the challenges. This year, am adding another year in delay of my pursuit of dreams; but that shouldnt hold me down in despair. I shall stand strong and face the 'enemy' - MYSELF inevitably, for I am my own nemesis. 

2012, has been over all, many sad months. From Jan to the end. I hope 2013 shines brighter light, the hidayah from Allah SWT most importantly, to help keep my Iman (faith) strong and intact. Undeterred by little bumps and hiccups in life. 

O Allah, give 2013 a year that is better than the last. InsyaALLAH. For YOU are the ALL Knowing. I leave it all to YOU. Amin Ya Rabb.