Islamic Digital Economy – Islamic Fintech – Malaysia’s New Frontier

Islamic Digital Economy – Islamic Fintech
Malaysia’s New Frontier

Yuzaidi Yusoff
January 5, 2021

Changing Economic Landscape
The World Bank reported that top 15 economies in the world represent 75% of the overall global GDP in 2018, which totalled USD86tn. United States captures 24% of the world total, or USD26tn, followed by China, Japan and Germany.

It is interesting to note from a projection by Standard Chartered, that the next decade will see some significant changes in the global economic ladder. In 2030, China will be the largest economy in the world with USD64tn in GDP, followed by India at USD46.3tn. United States will drop to 3rd in the ranking at USD31tn as its projected GDP in 2030.

What is more interesting is the rise of the developing countries. Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil and Egypt will jump to no. 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the world respectively, overtaking the likes of Japan and Germany as the leading world economies. The developed economies will still grow, but not at an exponential rate as the countries mentioned above.

Malaysia Economic Monitor (MEM) 2020 report by World Bank says Malaysia is not expected to recover fully from the pandemic shock within the next few years, creating a challenge to the medium term fiscal outlook. Malaysia has used up much of its fiscal space. By the time it is out of its crisis, it will be saddled with more debt and contingent liabilities.

It went to suggest that Malaysia should refocus its fiscal policy on sustaining public financing for long-term growth, seizing new growth opportunities and bold structural reforms.

Opportunities for Malaysia
It is said that Malaysia needs to enhance its industrialisation economy and not rely solely on her commodity revenue. Fortunately, there are opportunities out there. 2.3bn of them. That is the number of Muslims in the world by 2030, forecasted by Dinar Standard as reported in the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report (GIER) 2019/20. It said that Muslims are expected to spend USD3.2tn by 2024 from USD2.2tn in 2018.

Islamic finance (assets) is forecasted to contribute USD3.5tn with a CAGR of 5.5% in 2024 from 2018 as reported in the same Report. In 2018, the Islamic finance (assets) stood at USD2.5tn with a 3.5% growth y-o-y. Malaysia is ranked third with USD521bn.

In fact, Malaysia is ranked #1 in the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI) ranking, followed by UAE, Bahrain, Arab Saudi and Indonesia.

In 2018/19, investment in Islamic economy companies is only USD1bn, a fraction of the global investment in consumer and financial services of USD596bn. The same report also reveals that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for ethical products.

Thomson Reuters projected the sharia-compliant assets worldwide to reach USD3.8tn by 2022.

The recently signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement on 15th November 2020 resulting in the establishment of the world’s largest trading bloc, will give Malaysia the opportunity to capture 30% of the world population. World Bank estimates that Malaysia is expected to see a net gain of around 1% of the GDP from RCEP. There is a huge opportunity to capture.

Among the hot sectors for growth that Malaysia can and should be focussing on is in Islamic finance, especially in Islamic Fintech, particularly in peer-to-peer (P2P) finance and insure tech/Takaful. Islamic social finance, i.e. zakat, waqaf, microfinance; and Islamic trade finance are the other sub-sectors to watch out for growth. Malaysian Islamic Fintech can and should increase adoption and in addressing UN Sustainable Development Growth (SDG) objectives. An ethical purpose and approach easily understood by the non-Muslims.

Bullish and Aggressive
According to the Department of Statistics of Malaysia’s (DOSM) report, Malaysia’s GDP per capita for 2018 shows that they are uneven across the states. Kelantan has the lowest GDP per capita at RM13,700 or 69% below the national average of RM44,700. Kedah, Perlis and Sabah are the other poor states in the country with RM21,400, RM24,400 and 25,900 respectively.

The Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) paper, “Improving Income Inequality: Fact or Fiction?” stated that the income gap on absolute term in the country has widened. In 1970, the Top 20 households (T20) earned RM3,300 more than the Bottom 40 households (B40). In 2016, the T20s earned RM13,200 more than the B40s.

Islamic social finance can and should play a bigger role in reducing poverty, inequality and addressing environmental challenges. Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) recently launched policy document on Licensing Framework for Digital Banks inviting applicants to offer banking products and services primarily to underserved and unserved market through digital means helps to address this gap.

The Shared Prosperity Value 2030 (SPV30) is a commitment by the Government of Malaysia to make Malaysia a nation that achieves sustainable growth along with fair and equitable distribution, across income groups, ethnicities, regions and supply chains. Its primary aim is to provide a decent standard of living to all Malaysians by 2030. The SPV30 preaches the concept of inclusivity, leaving no one behind. Islamic Fintech can be that engine, that driver, for financial inclusion for all Malaysians at all levels.

Two of the Key Economic Growth Activities (KEGA) outlined in the SPV30 is Islamic Finance Hub 2.0 and the Digital Economy. Malaysia strongly believes the potential growth of these activities as it aspires to achieve high value economic development.

The SPV30 is very focus to position Malaysia as an Islamic Finance Hub 2.0.

Malaysia was a leader in “Wave 1” of Islamic banking back in the 1990s. Malaysia is ready to lead the “Wave 2” of Islamic finance, adapting to the digital Fintech world. Malaysia is strategically placed in ASEAN to serve as the gateway for Islamic Fintech, particularly to Indonesia.

Malaysia has the right ingredient and ecosystem to build a Global Islamic Fintech Hub in the region as it:
• has a matured Islamic finance environment;

• is conducive and has a cost-effective business environment;

• is blessed with academicians, Islamic finance experts and shariah scholars;

• has sought after local and international talents in Fintech and Islamic finance;

• has established proven Islamic finance framework and structure; and

• progressive regulatory bodies.

Malaysia should be in the driver seat in leading the Islamic digital economy for the region. For the last fifty years Malaysia has been successful in the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector. It has the experience, the ingredients, and the know-how for a similar transformation of the Islamic digital economy. It needs to create an ecosystem for its Islamic digital economy that incorporates reforms to its infrastructure, policies, talents, production, innovation, intellectual property (IP), research and financial support.

Malaysia is located in an ideal location for the regional hub not only with a sizeable market, but also offers the opportunity to scale-up into the region, especially capturing the more than 280m Muslims in the region.

Take The Bull by The Horns
To maximize the opportunities at hand, Malaysia needs to fill the gaps and overcome its shortfalls. Funding availability has always been the issue for the Malaysian startups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs. Many feel Singapore is friendlier and offers more funding opportunities for them. Malaysia also needs to find ways to attract more venture capitalists (VCs), investors, fund managers to support Malaysian unicorns-to-be. Government agencies should play a bigger role in providing ease and support for setting up operations and business in Malaysia. There needs to be more active engagements by regulators and offer more welcoming regulatory environment.

Malaysia can take the cue from Bahrain Fintech Bay (BFB) that has the support from the Islamic banking community, boasting eight (8) of the largest Islamic banks in the Kingdom as partners. The Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions in Malaysia (AIBIM) can play a bigger role in supporting the Islamic Fintech ecosystem in Malaysia.

In UAE, the DIFC Fintech Hive, located in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), a global hub for Islamic Fintech, is driven directly by Dubai Islamic Economy Development Corporation. It is attracting local and foreign Islamic Fintech start-ups including Malaysian own shariah compliant gold digital savings platform, HelloGold.

Malaysia should learn its bitter lesson from the Malaysia-born, Singapore-based unicorn, Grab.

Indonesia just launched the Indonesia Islamic Economic Masterplan 2019-2024 (IIEM 2019-24). This is a country with the largest consumer of halal products in the world.

With a population that takes up more than 3.5% of the world’s total population, Indonesia spends more than USD215bn in all Islamic economic sectors. Indonesia is poised to be the developing country to be reckoned with. It is not surprising that the projections from Standard Chartered, placed Indonesia as the 4th biggest economy in the world by 2030, behind China, India and the United States. Indonesia has
identified strengthening Islamic finance and digital economy as two of its four main
strategies in the IIEM 2019-24.

Nevertheless, Indonesia has its own challenges to overcome in the Islamic banking.

They include skilled resources, regulations improvements, research & development (R&D) to ascertain opportunities, and education & socialisation on Islamic banking.

Malaysia has a lead-start on some of these areas. It cannot rest on its laurels and must act fast, as the window of opportunities (some say survival), is closing in fast.

The Covid-19 pandemic has given Malaysia the opportunity not only to revitalize the economy but also to REFORM the economy.

“Countries become good at certain industries only because they decide as much, and not because they are destined to do so.”
– Prof. Ha-Joon Chang, University Cambrige

Immediate actions could include the following:
1. Establish an Islamic Fintech sub-committee within a special committee of Islamic Finance under the Ministry of Finance.

i. Formulate a national Islamic Fintech strategy linking to Islamic and ethical economies;

ii. Work closely with key stakeholders across the ecosystem to drive the strategy roadmap;

iii. Design an Islamic Fintech framework;

iv. Execute and monitor the Islamic Fintech strategic plan;

v. Act as the point of reference on anything related to Islamic Fintech in Malaysia;

vi. Define and design the Islamic Fintech industry parameters – providing clarity

in roles of incumbents and new entrants;

vii. Rationalize standards, working closely with other countries, making Islamic finance standards as the leading benchmark for ethical finance practices, to reach beyond Muslim-owned businesses and to drive economic growth.

2. Enhance the existing MDEC’s Orbit and as an Islamic Fintech cluster.

i. Provide Islamic Fintech companies an access to multinational companies (MNCs), Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) and regulators;

ii. Serve as an advisory service centre including on shariah compliant financial matters;

iii. Act as an accelerator and an incubator, provide access to international market especially to Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and RCEP countries; iv. Act as a soft landing for foreign Islamic Fintech players in making Malaysia as its hub or base in this region; v. It can emulate the Bahrain’s BFB structure with a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the Ministry of Multimedia and Communication (KKMM), MDEC, AIBIM, and Malaysia IFIs.

3. Redefine Islamic social finance for an inclusive Islamic Fintech
Malaysia needs to revive institutions that encourage mutual help and generosities to people in need. One of them is waqaf. The basic concept is not too different from endowments. In fact waqafs are the precursors to modern day endowments or foundations, where properties or other assets are donated to be used for the benefit of society.

Development of waqaf is one of the significant social instrument for social development, greater public good and wealth distribution. During the Abbasid period of Islamic history when waqaf dominated the economy, medical services were provided free of charge by waqaf-funded hospitals. They competed with each other to provide the best free services, as the ones with better reputations would attract more donors.

i. Collaborate with UNHCR Zakat Fund;

ii. Establish synergistic collaboration with zakat collection centres, institutions and regulatory bodies across the respective states in Malaysia;

iii. Increase adoption of sustainability in Islamic social finance products, maximising social impact and addressing SDGs;

iv. Establish structured and well governed philanthropic-based institutions that include:
a) Zakat;
b) Infaq;
c) Sadaqah;
d) Waqaf.

i. Establish cooperation-based institutions that include:
a) Qard (loan-based cooperation);
b) Contemporary Islamic microfinance institutions.

i. Securities Commission recently launched Waqf-Featured Fund Framework to facilitate the offering of Islamic funds with wakaf features is a step in the right direction;

ii. Taking advantage of Fintech to be put in place like zakat information system, waqaf information systems, and enhancing the collection and management of the zakat collection and distribution;

iii. Encourage the use of big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to spur growth of innovation and improve the quality of service delivery;

iv. We need more shariah-compliant Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in the market to encourage start-ups in providing investors with a globally diversified Islamic ETF portfolios;

v. Proper branding and awareness to the Muslims on zakat, waqaf, etc and that environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria goes beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR);

vi. Build a Fintech culture within the Islamic finance fraternity, in particular the Islamic social finance space.


Bby Mazeni Alwi

“Where are the enemy?”

Benjamin waved his hand expansively.

“Over zere.” Benjamin spoke English – terrible English.

“But where?”

Benjamin, a Polish Jew whose mother-tongue was French, must have deflated George Orwell’s enthusiasm in “Homage to Catalonia[1938]”; an enthusiasm driven – one may assume, by the purest of motives when he signed up as a volunteer to defend the nascent Spanish republic against the military revolt led by General Franco.

Soon after arriving in Barcelona in the early part of the civil war he was quickly sent to the frontline near Zaragoza. The “front” was not as what he had imagined – trenches in straight lines, with a mere 50-100 yards across no man’s land separating him from the enemy.

Here the frontlines were ridges and hilltops, and across hundreds of meters of barren ravines all he could see were the tiny parapets and flags of the fascist positions. His heart sank further when the weapon he was handed was a German Mauser dated 1895 while the best rifle was given to, in his own words, a half-witted little beast of fifteen (half of the “men” in his company were teenagers from the backstreets of Barcelona).

The narrative of the Covid-19 pandemic has been invested, not surprisingly, with the metaphor of war – the enemy, frontlines, heroism, sacrifice. The Emergency departments, the ward floor and the ICU are our battlegrounds.

The civilian population in turn must contend with the inconvenience of confinement. More stringent curbs on matter-of-fact liberties and uncertain economic future are to follow should this war drag on.

I could not help harking back to Orwell’s account of the enemy he couldn’t see and also the mess he observed when one entered into battle woefully unprepared.

Doctors and other healthcare professionals readily accept that their job often requires them to serve beyond the call of duty even in “peace time”. We are of course cognizant of the fact that occupational death is a risk in some fields of medicine such as one that deals with new, little known infectious diseases. Of this the late Dr. Carlo Urbano comes to mind. A WHO infectious disease expert, he contracted the disease and succumbed to it while working to unravel the mystery of SARS in 2003.

But needless deaths in frightening numbers is something else. Among doctors alone Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 61 doctors in China and Italy each, 24 in Indonesia, 10 in the UK, days before I started writing this. That is an indication of what is very frightening to health care workers about this pandemic.

Frightening but also humbling for we mistakenly thought that modern medicine has at last conquered many of the big diseases that man has long struggled with to find relief and freedom from. We didn’t see that in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, half a million died, and that too in an era of medicine when antibiotics and ventilators had not yet existed

Over a short period of time we have better understood the enemy – what it is and its genetic make-up and have baptized it with a name. We know how it is transmitted and we can accurately diagnose infected persons even if they don’t show any symptoms of the disease. But the few unfortunate enough to be inflicted the full severity can die even in the best ICU of the best hospital.

The word tragic doesn’t describe enough the sad fate of healthcare workers who lose their lives in the line of duty when we now know that this can be prevented by having the right PPE, appropriate for the level of risk in patient encounters. The recent death of a Jakarta doctor is one such heartbreaking story just as we read about fallen doctors in the Philippines paraded as heroes. Working in such an underfunded healthcare environment, we wonder if doctors, despite being aware of the dangerous odds against them, feel pressured into carrying out heroic deeds by societal expectations rather than out of their own volition. Heroism does not adequately describe their ultimate sacrifice.

But this is not just about an underfunded healthcare system in a third world country where underfunding of basic infrastructure is just one of a myriad of other interconnected problems. The 10th NHS doctor to die of Covid-19 had earlier warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson that frontline workers did not have enough PPE. Except for PAPR which is used in procedures that carry the highest risks of transmission, PPE for obtaining diagnostic specimens and general ICU care of infected patients are not expensive even for the standard of developing countries.

The problem is unpreparedness, logistical issues and lack of concern borne out of ignorance for the safety of those who have to work at the frontlines. Many of these are junior doctors and nurses who dare not articulate their fears of having to work without adequate PPE. If the shocking number of doctors who have died in the line of duty is not enough to jolt those in authority to do the right thing, we hope the protests by healthcare workers from New York to Quetta in Pakistan, and the Zimbabwe government being taken to court over its failure to provide doctors on the frontline with masks, will.

Apart from the great personal cost to the families of the fallen, what is going to happen to society if the ranks of frontliners are depleted to the point that the entire system collapses? We can be certain that the ethics and legal dimensions of this will soon enter the narrative of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Those who don’t know Dr Musa in person are apt to be a little disturbed by the tone of his impassioned open letter to the DG and the leadership of KKM. But his message is a timely reminder before we lose a healthcare worker in the line of duty. That would be a devastating blow not just to the frontliners but the entire medical and its allied professions. And unlike our neighbours, ours is not for the lack of funding, infrastructure and dedicated personnel.

Dr Musa is a respected doctor in the paediatric fraternity who has distinguished himself at the forefront of neonatology. But his other passion is advocacy on vaccines and the prevention of infectious childhood diseases. Dr Musa has the right credentials and the welfare of fellow workers and the people of this country in his heart. If there is such a term as Corona Crusaders, he would be among them, urging the government to do extensive testing, protect the frontliners and guard our borders to prevent a new wave of infections from neighbouring Indonesia.

On the other hand, the Director General and the KKM leadership have earned the respect and trust of the Malaysian public in the handling of the Covid-19 epidemic. Of all the government officials, he is the only one every citizen looks up to with hope in this time of crisis. At the beginning of March, we were like Spain and France in terms of statistics. Short of calling it a miracle, we have not followed suit in the explosion of new cases and number of fatalities. And not to forget, all this was unfolding when we had no functioning cabinet for 2 weeks. Still, we should not drop our guard for the safety of the shore is still some distance away.

In the novel about a fictional plague that took place in the Algerian city of Oran before independence, Camus wrote of hundreds of city dwellers falling victims to it and the ensuing chaos, fear and the tensions brought about by closure of the city gates. The main protagonist, Dr Bernard Rieux, is a physician of supreme clinical detachment who assembled a team of volunteers of disparate individual characters to fight against the plague, bringing and treating the sick in a makeshift hospital and dealing with the dead.

As the plague began to be tamed, in a moment of reflection Dr Rieux spoke to his assistant Tarrou,

”I feel more fellowship with the defeated than with saints. Heroism and sanctity don’t really appeal to me..”

Carefugees’ response to RPK

Carefugees refers to the recent online posting by Raja Petra Kamaruddin – screenshot attached.

We would like to clarify and assert that the picture is from an event held by Carefugees in February 2019. It was the launch of the annual Feed a Family, a campaign that provides food aid to thousands of refugee families in Malaysia each year.

This campaign has been running since 2013 and has so far distributed food aid to approximately 24,000 refugee families. It has the support of a spectrum of personalities, cutting across all barriers.

YB Hannah Yeoh had kindly agreed to launch Feed a Family ‘19. She was then the Deputy Minister to the Ministry of Family, Women and Community Development.

The picture shows Carefugees acvtivist and supporter Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin playing the good host to YB Hannah, our VIP guest.

To suggest anything else is not only irresponsible but also malicious. To shamelessly exploit a charity event that highlights the marginalized in our society is pitiful.

Carefugees Team
11 April 2020

Muslim Professionals Forum takes a particular interest in the ongoing social media exchange concerning one of our Board of Directors, Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin.

His recent tweet on Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin’s large scale sanitisation operations has garnered much attention and unwarranted attacks.

Here is his tweet in full

OMG! This is both silly and irresponsible. Depriving our last line of defense screening and live-saving #COVID19 patients in ICU. Best she #StayHome and not make a fool of herself!

Dr Musa has been at the forefront of not only medical matters in this country, but also humanitarian relief work here and the world over.

As Chairman of the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) Advisory Council, he has expertise in this field and his views are highly sought after and adhered to.

As an expert, he understands the seriousness of the situation and the need to stay ahead of the curve. To do this, we must live by clearly laid out guidelines by not only Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) but worldwide bodies.

Dr Musa’s comments were clearly consistent with MOH guidelines and it’s Director General’s various statements on this outbreak.

Calling out the irresponsible act of a large gathering of people when there is an existing Movement Control Order (MCO) was the right thing to do. So was the utilization of so many PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment) at a time when the frontliners are facing a dire shortage.

The world is battling a pandemic unheard of in recent times. In mitigating it, the MCO has been in place since 17th March and it is imperative that everyone complies. Ministers included.

Board of Directors
Muslim Professionals Forum
1 April 2020

Let Us Together Flatten the COVID2019 Epidemic Curve

Let us together flatten the COVID2019 epidemic curve

Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin
Damansara Specialist Hospital
13 March 2020

The WHO officially declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. This is the second in the 21st century after the HiN1 influenza pandemic in 2009.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia, marshaled by the past Minister, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, was on the ball, immediately after the announcement of the first Wuhan case of COVID2019 on 31st Dec 2019.

It is pertinent to take stock of our current containment and mitigation strategies and benefit from best practices elsewhere, to craft our Malaysian plan of action against the SARS-CoV2 pandemic.

We should first try to understand current and best knowledge of this coronavirus which is bewildering most scientists studying it.

The SARS-COV2 is a very smart coronavirus. It does not overkill it’s host unlike SARS-CoV1 and MERS-CoV. Its Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is 2% when compared against 10% for SARS and 35% for MERS.

It therefore lives another day to further infect more humans. This is reflected in its Ro (Reproduction Nought) of 2-4, an index of how contagious the virus is. Contrast this to the less infectious MERS (Ro less than 1) versus the extremely infectious measles virus with an Ro of 13-18.

The mean time from exposure to the manifestation of symptoms, namely fever, cough and breathing difficulties, is 7 days, with a range of 2-14 days.

However, it is now established that he SARS-CoV2 is able to infect others even prior to manifesting clinical symptoms. Analysis of 124 Wuhan cases with clearly documented contact history illustrated an incubation period of 5 days (ranging from 1-11 days). It also showed that 73% of secondary cases were infected before the onset of symptoms in the index COVID2019 case.

This suggests that a substantial proportion of secondary transmissions was acquired prior to the onset of clinical symptoms and signs in the index case. Experts best  estimates is that 12% of carriers can spread COVID19, 2-4 days before the manifestation of the signs and symptoms.

This existence of asymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV2 makes total containment very difficult and problematic.

In the light of these disclosures of the transmissibility (and fatality) of the SARS-CoV2 we may need to realign and reconsider some of our strategies of containment and mitigation.

I do not think we need to follow the draconian, lockdown methodology of China and Italy. South Korea has been very successful in reducing confirmed cases of COVID2019 from 900 per day to less than 100 per day and declining further. Probably we could learn from some of the salient features of South Korea’s strategy to “flatten the COVID2019 epidemic curve”

We should continue to screen, through fever checks and rt-PCR testing, detect the positive cases and isolate cases. Self-quarantine should be advised in appropriate clinical settings

We should ensure that there is sufficient, rapid and accurate diagnostic test kits and which is undertaken appropriately to conserve the supply chain. South Korea undertakes 12,000 – 20,000 tests per day. Prior to the lockdown of Italy only 20,000 tests were done. Due to restricted and flawed test kits only 4,000 tests were done in the USA prior to the declaration of global pandemic. The US CDC therefore does not have an idea of the burden of COVIC2019 disease in their community, which makes it very difficult to solicit public support for their ensuing public programs.

To facilitate testing South Korea has organized several Drive-Through SARS-CoV2 tests at public areas. This Drive-Through model has been replicated in KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital (KPJ-DSH) and Hospital Sungai Buluh. In fact, KPJ-DSH has operated mobile Drive-Through COVID2019 testing at several Government Linked Companies (GLC) premises, as part of testing of persons in close contact with Index Case 26.

 Dr Dzulkefly during his stewardship of the MOH emphasized transparency of their work processes, which seems somewhat alien to the work culture of most government ministries. He pushed for the public release of the findings of the independent investigation of the fire incident in HSA in 2016 despite fierce protests from the top officers in the MOH. Tan Sri Abu Bakar Suleiman, vice chairman of the fire investigation commission and myself, as part of the now defunct Health Advisory Council (HAC), advocated for the prompt and complete release of the fire report.

This transparent work culture permeated through Dr Dzul’s handling of the COVID2019 disease outbreak. Apart from being transparent, he made sure the information was accurate, readily accessible and presented in a reassuring and calming manner.

This is extremely crucial, because quick access to accurate information is powerful in debunking fake news and fear mongering. It empowers the rakyat to be active partners of the MOH and the government in the fight against the outbreak

Another strategic decision that needs to be carefully considered is the shift from the imposition of physical and legal barriers towards creating healthy social barriers as advocated in the infectious disease philosophy of social distancing.

The cities that practiced social distancing during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 suffered the least impact from the effects of the H1N1 influenza outbreak.

These social distancing strategies ranged from best practice hygiene practices, cough etiquette, avoidance of large crowds, no handshakes, hugs and kisses, replaced with Hola, Namaste and Eyvallah, staying home when unwell, wearing a mask if unwell and still needing to be out, staying put in homes for high risk groups eg pregnant ladies, geriatrics, those with underlying health conditions, work from home, cancelation of all large events eg games, religious congregation, conferences, to more major closures of schools, theatres, mosques and churches.

Manual contact tracing can be very laborious and time consuming and may still not track the vulnerable persons. It is time for the MOH to utilize GPS technology and information for contact tracing.

In South Korea, all travellers entering the country are recruited into the Self Health Check Mobile App which not only tracks the visitors’ symptoms but also his whereabouts. This has caused some embarrassment in certain circumstances eg those who frequented love hotels etc and has raised issues of invasion of privacy and confidentiality.

And I would like to suggest to the MOH to utilize the Artificial Intelligence (AI) expertise of the likes of Dr Dhesi (previously digital health advisor to Dr Dzulkefly) to team with the group in UMMC under Prof Adeeba to get cracking towards AI

AI modeling, tracking and forecasting of COVID2019.

All of these interventions I believe, will help to flatten the COVID2019 epidemic curve, to delay and spread out the progression of the outbreak, reduce the disease morbidities and mortalities and reduce the burden on our healthcare institutions and essential services. This hopefully will buy us some time until anti-viral agents and a vaccine can be produced and its manufactured up-scaled for global treatment and protection

Open Letter to the Mufti of Perlis

12 March 2020


Open Letter to the Mufti of Perlis

Manan Razali


Assalamu’alaikum Ustaz

I think you know me very well Ustaz. We have known each other well before you became a Mufti. This must be some 15-18 years ago. We have had some very interesting exchanges prior to your talks the following days, during your many visits to KL.

More recently, I have been reading your many statements praising the actions of Muhyiddin Yassin (MY) pulling out Bersatu from PH and partnering with UMNO and PAS to form a new back door government.

Ustaz, you know very well that I am not a politician. I am merely a humble supporter of the Sunnah ways taught to me by knowledgeable teachers including your kind self. I was taught to always prioritise the teaching of the Al-Qur’an and the authentic traditions of the Prophet (PBUH) in all our spirirtual and worldly endeavours.

It is premised on this understanding, that I felt it incumbent to write this piece to balance the political nuances of Ustaz which is utterly confusing the ummah and does not seem to honor the Islamic principles which I have learnt and which you have advocated from the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH).

Let our readers decide which points of views best reflects the teachings of our religion.

To do justice, allow me to first quote your many public pronouncements from your FB, your videos and your interview with Astro Awani on 10 March 2020 at about 2.30 pm. You said:

1 The PH government, allowed sensitive issues related to race and religion to proliferate causing the rakyat to be angry and upset. The PH government was not assertive in controlling the situation. They should have addressed the situation firmly and promptly to allay the hostilities and concerns of the rakyat. It should not have been allowed to drag on and pose a danger to the rakyat and nation

2 Because of the failure of the PH government to handle the situation with tact, it was only appropriate for MY and his team to undertake the “Sheraton Move” to grab power through the back door to overcome this imagined catastrophe by forming an “all-Malay government” which entails kicking out the DAP from office. With the success of this takeover, you are now appealing to the rakyat (namely the Malays) to give MY and his back door government the opportunity to carry out the task of governing.

3 You always reminded us to listen and obey to our leaders, whether we like them or not, until it is proven that they have sinned or are treacherous. And you quoted the hadith;

“To listen and to obey the leaders is mandatory upon a Muslim in all affairs, whether he likes or not, as long as he is not commanded to do evil. When this happens, he must no longer obey nor listen” (al-Bukhari and Muslim)


4 On the 17 Feb 2010, you were quoted as having said; “the actions of the rakyats’ representatives to hop parties is a sin in religion because it is treacherous and totally disrespectful of the rakyats’ mandate.

My response to your viewpoints has no political innuendos. My only intent is to seek the truth, an authentic religious perspective of these happenings. I always picture in my mind, how the prophet (PBUH) and his companions would have acted when faced with a similar political crisis.

Our religion has always exhorted us to be just because that is closest to taqwa which is our passport to  heaven. If we act otherwise, we are doomed.

Permit me to share two pertinent passages from the Quran which you and our scholars have always quoted in this aspect:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah, indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (5:8)

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do. (4:135)

A paramount issue besetting the nation’s politics today is the trail of treachery and broken promises by MY and his back door government. They were together in the PH coalition to face GE-14, defeated the kleptocratic UMNO-BN government and were trusted with the rakyats’ mandate to start a new beginning, Malaysia Baru.

In our religious vocabulary, this act of treachery and broken promise is described as despotic (zalim) which is the anti-thesis of justice (adil). Despotics leaders are cursed by Allah (SWT) in this world and the hereafter.

MY was not only treacherous to PH but also to the rakyat who chose PH, and booted out UMNO-BN which virtually bankrupted our national coffers during its 61 year rule.

My question is, whether the treasonous actions of MY is exempted from the basic Islamic principles which I alluded to earlier?

I would welcome your wisdom of any verses from the Quran or the history of the prophet (PBUH) whereby he (PBUH) or his companions deliberately broke any contracts they made with the non-Muslims or the People of the Book.

I have no doubt in my mind that the treacherous conduct of the (unbelievers) Mushrikin  would be far worse than those of our non-Muslim citizens (if any) in Malaysia. Despite that, the prophet was just to them.

The enemies of Islam (Mushrikin) during the prophet’s (PBUH) time despised Islam even though he delivered the message of Islam in the best possible manner.

There is a world of difference between the Mushirikin during the time of the prophet (PBUH) and the non-Muslims in Malaysia. The latter were neither hostile nor obstruct the Muslims from practicing their religion.

The few non-Muslims who are ill mannered towards the Malays is due to their lack of understanding of Islam consequent upon our (Muslim Malays) failure to disseminate the message of Islam with tact and wisdom.

Let us be upfront about our failures. We are more obsessed with our Malay race than our religion. And it is not far fetched for me to equate our actions like the Jews (Yahudi) who lived many years in Madinah before the coming of the prophet (PBUH).

The Jews never saw the need to invite the Arabs, worshippers of idols (Mushrikin) to instead worship Allah, because they felt it was their exclusive right to Allah. To the Jews, the Arabs had no “class” and in the sight of Allah, they are doomed to the hellfire. Only the Jews had the exclusive right to heaven.

The Malay mindset is much similar to the Jews. Our psyche is like; “Don’t bother with these unbelievers, they don’t believe in Allah, so their rightful abode is the hellfire. We Malay-Muslims good, bad or ugly will eventually enter the heavens. But, whatever, the (non-Muslims) must respect us. Malaysia is our land. These guys are aliens (pendatang). We give them an inch now they demand a mile.”

There were a few drastic actions of the prophet (PBUH) against his enemies, but unlike the allegations of the Western Orientalists, they were all fully justified in response to the treasonous actions of his enemies. These incidents were namely:

  1. The killing of Ka’ab bin Ashraff, a Jewish traitor from Madinah who came to Makkah to instigate the Qurasyh pagans to attack the Muslims in avenging their earlier defeat in the Battle of Badr. This led to the Battle of Uhud not too long after that.
  1. The beheading of all the men from the Jewish tribe of Bani Qurayza and the enslavement of their women and children, for plotting to kill the Prophet (PBUH) who was the head of the state of Madinah and for violating and betraying the state’s constitution which they had pledged loyalty to earlier.
  1. The attack on the Jewish tribe of Bani Nadhir and then exiling them from Madinah for their covert support to the large confederation of enemies of the new state during the battle of Al-Ahzaab.
  1. The violation of the treaty of Hudaibiyyah by the Arab pagans of Quraysh which resulted in the Prophet leading 10,000 Muslim soldiers to march to Makkah and liberate the city from the pagans.

On Ustaz’s allegations that the PH government failed to address he rakyats’ grievances on issues of race and religion, I would politely ask; “Who was the Minister of Home Affairs during this 22 month period? Is not the nation’s peace ad harmony under his jurisdiction? Why was he not held accountable for the failures to address the rakyat’s concerns”

When the AG released the 12 Indians for their alleged involvement in the terror organization LTTE, I read his answer to the Minister of Home Affairs statement. I was waiting for the Minister’s rebuttal to the AG’s report which unfortunately never appeared. This lack of transparency from the Minister with respect to upholding the rule of law is very disappointing.

With regards to the hadith about obeying our leaders, might I ask Ustaz, which bit of the PH governance was entrenched in evil (maksiat) which we must not obey. It might have escaped my attention

There is no benefit to me to suck up to the non-Muslims especially the very few who misbehave towards us. Whether I like them or not is irrelevant. As Muslims, on the path of the prophet (PBUH), our endeavor is to search and to establish the truth.

Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. (2:216)

It is simply not fair for me to hate the non-Muslims just because of the fault of a few among them who who have misbehaved towards us on account of their lack of understanding of Islam. And especially if the Minister of KDN who was tasked to preserve the national harmony did not carry out his job responsibly.

And the Minister of KDN has the audacity to blame them and use this as an excuse to overthrow the government of which he was part of. Did he not promise to save this nation from the thieves in UMNO which he lambasted during GE14. And now he jumps into bed with them and invites them to be part of his back door government. This is totally insane, let alone Islamic!

None of the UMNO ministers have apologised for supporting Najib, the global kleptocrat. If they are truly sincere and have repented, they ought to publicly say sorry to the rakyat.

Ustaz, you are more knowledgeable in this aspect, and you ought to counsel them to apologise to the nation. If they are unrepentant, how can you or the Malays ever trust them to govern and save us? I am very perplexed by your irrational course of action. This is not what I was mentored by you and our other scholars.

And it does not make sense to me to accept PAS, because they were complicit in supporting Najib and UMNOs’ evil doings. They have abused religion to further their political ambitions. Their president seems infallible issuing various nonsensical decrees, and none his party dare to correct him. Suffice for me to summarise as such or it will take another article to enumerate their misdeeds. These are the very people who are doing a disservice to Islam and portrays a wrong image of our religion

If I may reiterate, exactly which Islamic principle Ustaz used to rationalize your support of MY’s treacherous actions.

What values are we preaching and upholding in these difficult times. Does the end justify the means?

If your judgment is permissible (harus) in order to preserve a bigger good, then my preceding questions remains to be answered. The Minister of KDN himself failed in his duties to preserve good relations and cohesiveness between the different races and religions of our nation

He should be brought to task, instead his efforts to overthrow the PH government elected by the people with his bunch of thieves and traitors was lauded by you and received your utmost respect. Is this a strategy taught by the prophet (PBUH) of which I am not aware of, or is it beyond the reach of my limited Islamic knowledge?

It’s no use crying over spilt milk. There is not much more I can do now. Notwithstanding, as a Muslim it is important for me on behalf of many of my confused brethren to establish the truth in this religious imbroglio.

Was the treacherous acts of MY permissible according to our religious teachings. Based on my grasp of the religious texts, I have rationalized that MY’s acts are indefensible. I would truly appreciate Ustaz’s sharing of your understanding of the  religious text, jurisprudence of priorities or politics (fiqh awaliyat, fiqh siyasah) which endeared Ustaz to MY’s “Sheraton Move”  to  oust the PH government.

This is extremely crucial because Ustaz is seen as a defender of authentic Islamic values. However,  your recent actions have bewildered both Muslim and non-Muslims, who now see you more as a racist defending Malay rights rather than a Muslim defending the universal norms of justice, equity and fairplay.

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (16:90)

Joint Statement on COVID-19 – Malaysia Must Unite

Dear Media Colleagues (bcc’ed),
On behalf of the following organizations and individuals, we submit the attached letter for your publication,
Thank you,
Dr Yap Wei Aun
Dr Khor Swee Kheng
On behalf of the following signatories (all cc’ed)
Please print the entire list of names, thank you
1.       Datuk Seri Dr DZULKEFLY AHMAD   –   Former Minister of Health, Malaysia
2.       Datuk Seri Dr S. SUBRAMANIAM SATHASIVAM   –   Former Minister of Health, Malaysia
3.       Prof Dato’ Dr ADEEBA KAMARULZAMAN   –   Dean of Medicine, Universiti Malaya
4.       Mr AMRAHI BUANG   –   President, Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society
5.       Ms AUDRY WAN ULLOK   –   President, Sarawak Tourism Federation
6.       Ms CHRISANNE CHIN   –   National Director, 247 Prayer Malaysia
7.       Mr DELREN TERRENCE DOUGLAS   –   President, Assc. for Residential Aged Care Operators of Malaysia
8.       Dr GANABASKARAN   –   President, Malaysian Medical Association
9.       Dr HARTINI ZAINUDIN   –   Founder, Yayasan Chow Kit
10.   Dr HELMY HAJA MYDIN   –   Co-founder, Asthma Malaysia
11.   Mr J SOLOMON   –   Secretary-General, Malaysian Trades Unions Congress
12.   Dr JEFFREY ABU HASSAN   –   President, Islamic Medical Association Malaysia
13.   Archbishop JULIAN LEOW   –   Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur
14.   The Most Ven Datuk K SRI DHAMMARATANA   –   Chief High Priest of Malaysia, Buddhist Maha Vihara
15.   Mr LAU CHEE BOON   –   Chairman, LLG Cultural Development Centre
16.   Sis LOH PAI LING   –   President, Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia
17.   En LUKMAN SHERIFF ALIAS   –   Chair, Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organizations
18.   Ms MOEY YOKE LAI   –   Chair, Federation of Christian Mission Schools Malaysia
19.   A/Prof Dr MOHAMMAD HUSNI JAMAL   –   President, Academy of Family Physicians
20.   Datuk MUNIRAH ABDUL HAMID   –   President, Muslim Women’s Action Society (PERTIWI)
21.   Haji MUSTAFA ABD MAJID   –   President, Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants
22.   Bishop ONG HWAI TEIK   –   President, Council of Churches Malaysia
23.   Datuk ONG SENG KHEK   –   The Kuala Lumpur And Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
24.   A/Prof Dr PANG YONG KEK   –   President, Malaysian Thoracic Society
25.   Dato’ Dr PAUL SELVA RAJ   –   Secretary-General, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations
26.   Mr PHILLIP YONG   –   Chairman, Association of Sarawak Inbound Agencies
27.   Dr RAJ KUMAR MAHARAJAH   –   President, Medical Practitioners Coalition Association
28.   Prof Dr RAJA AFFENDI RAJA ALI   –   Dean of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
29.   Prof Dr ROSMAWATI MOHAMED   –   Master, Academy of Medicine Malaysia
30.   Prof Dr SHAIFUL BAHARI ISMAIL   –   Dean of Medicine, Universiti Sains Malaysia
31.   Datuk SHAMSUDDIN BARDAN   –   Executive Director, Malaysian Employers Federation
32.   Pn SHARIPAH ASIAH SYED JUNID ALJUNID   –   President, Malaysian Nurses Association
33.   Tuan Haji YUZAIDI YUSOFF   –   Chairman, Muslim Professionals Forum
34.   Dato’ Dr ZAINAL ARIFFIN OMAR   –   President, Public Health Physicians Association
35.   Prof ZALEHA ABDULLAH MAHDY   –   President, Perinatal Society of Malaysia
37.   Dato’ Dr ALEX MATHEWS
38.   Dato’ Dr AMAR-SINGH HSS
41.   Tan Sri Datuk Dr KAMAL MAT SALIH
42.   Prof Emeritus Dato’ Dr KHALID ABDUL KADIR
43.   Datuk Dr KULJIT SINGH
44.   Dato’ Dr MUSA NORDIN

Kemenangan Pyrrhic untuk TSMY dan Malaysia (Bahagian III)

9 March 2020

Kemenangan Pyrrhic untuk TSMY dan Malaysia (Bahagian III)

Prof Dr Awaluddin Mohamed Shaharoun
Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)

Dari sudut pandangan Umno, ini adalah penyelamat ajaib daripada kelumpuhan akibat kehilangan kuasa secara tiba-tiba yang berlaku pada tahun 2018. Perpecahan dalaman hasil dari pemimpin terkemuka mereka, yang menghadapi puluhan tuduhan dimahkamah, namun masih degil memegang tampuk kuasa penting dalam parti mengakibatkan UMNO masih belum berjaya mencipta semula dirinya dan mensucikan diri dari runtuhan politik. Ini biasanya dicapai dengan membenteras golongan korup dan menggantikannya dengan darah baru. UMNO masih dibelengui dengan puak puak ini dua tahun selepas PRU14.

Jadi peluang baru ini untuk kembali berkuasa dan menebus kembali imej mereka pada pendapat kami tidak akan membawa kepada sebarang perubahan besar kecuali hanya sekadar mengekalkan status quo. Pada mereka ini bisnes seperti biasa. Kami tidak menjangkakan akan melihat kewujudan UMNO yang segar dan bersih untuk muncul dalam pakatan ini malah akan kita lihat pelakon pelakon lama dan yang sama. Cuma kali ini sekadar memakai pakaian yang baru.

Apa yang pasti, mereka mungkin kembali membalas dendam terutama pada gabungan PH (atau apa yang tersisa daripada mereka) kerana menyebabkan kekalahan mereka diPRU ke-14. Kami jangka DSAI akan menghadapi satu lagi dakwaan tuduhan meliwat. Bekas ahli politik UMNO yang masih kekal dalam pakatan pembangkang akan diajukan dengan tuduhan rasuah. Kebebasan akhbar akan diperketatkan, yang mana mereka gunakan semaksima yang mungkin dalam tempoh 22 bulan terakhir untuk menghina kerajaan PH dan memperkecilkan pencapaian mereka.

Daripada PAS, tiada banyak yang boleh diharapkan daripada sumbangan mereka dalam pakatan baru ini kecuali untuk mengkuduskan dan mewajarkan tindakan kerajaan baru terutama kepada persepsi penduduk Melayu-Muslim. Satu peluang untuk berkongsi kuasa di peringkat persekutuan adalah seperti manna yang jatuh dari langit dan mereka sudah pasti akan berhati-hati untuk memelihara peluang yang tidak dijangka ini setelah menunggu selama 43 tahun supaya ia tidak lagi hilang seperti pada tahun 1977 ketika mereka ditendang keluar dari gabungan BN .

Malah, dalam semangatnya kuatnya untuk menjadi sebahagian daripada kerajaan baru, Ustaz Hadi Awang ditanya oleh pihak media baru baru ini sama ada beliau berfikir pemimpin UMNO yang menghadapi tuduhan jenayah harus menjadi sebahagian daripada kerajaan baru. Sebagai seorang ahli politik yang licik, beliau menjawab bahawa fokus utama kerajaan baru itu adalah untuk menyelamatkan ekonomi negara dan pemimpin Pakatan Harapan juga mempunyai menghadapi tuduhan yang sama. Secara implikasinya beliau membayangkan bahawa “jika anda boleh melakukannya, kami pun boleh” dan jika tuduhan dalam mahkamah terhadap pemimpin-pemimpin Pakatan boleh gugur, maka demikian juga kemungkinan bagi pemimpin UMNO Perikatan Nasional (PN).

Suatu tanda yang merisaukan bahawa PAS yang sekian lama menjuarai amar ma’aruf dan nahi mungkar (ajaran Islam yang menyarankan melakukan kebaikan dan melarang kejahatan) sedia bertoleransi dengan pencuri dan perompak untuk mengisi kabinet baru demi kemaslahatan politik. Ini tidak baik untuk reputasi dan integriti kerajaan baru jika sayap keagamaan bersedia untuk menutup mata terhadap rasuah.

TSMY perlu membuktikan kabinet barunya yang kelihatan lebih putih dari putih untuk memenangi hati pengkritik dan mereka yang masih ragu-ragu di negara ini tetapi ini bukan permulaan yang mungkin dia kehendaki. PAS harus mengambil peluang untuk menegakkan reformasi sosial, politik dan ekonomi tulen dan bergerak ke arah masyarakat sivil dan membawa NGO NGO ke dalam perjuangan ini tetapi seperti dijangka kini mengambil pendekatan pragmatik iaitu “jika anda tidak dapat mengalahkan mereka, sertai lah mereka” .

Satu lagi cabaran besar bagi PAS adalah untuk menghasilkan tokoh kebangsaan yang sama handal seperti Mat Sabu, Khalid Samad, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (secara konsensus umum seorang Menteri Kesihatan yang terbaik setakat ini), Salehudin Ayob dan untuk mempamirkan keupayaan ahli mereka apabila diberikan jawatan kabinet kelak. Sekiranya watak-watak yang disebut tadi tidak dipaksa meninggalkan PAS, maka sudah tentu mereka akan menjadi contoh peranan pemimpin PAS Islam yang baik dalam memimpin masyarakat berbilang budaya dan ras. Tetapi pemergian mereka telah meninggalkan PAS dengan kekurangan bakat semacam itu tetapi yang tinggal hanya ramai tokoh agama yang layak untuk jawatan Menteri Agama dan yang sewaktu dengannya.

Oleh itu, Ustaz Hadi mempunyai tugas berat untuk mencadangkan nama-nama calon yang kompeten untuk kerajaan baru di mana PAS dijangka memainkan peranan utama. Sebagai sebahagian daripada kerajaan dan tidak lagi sebagai pembangkang, ia menjadi alasan untuk mengharapkan pendekatan yang lebih lembut oleh PAS dalam menangani rakyat bangsa bukan Melayu dan yang berugama bukan Islam terutamanya dengan sahutan mereka untuk melaksanakan hudud dan sebagainya. Sebagai pembangkang, anda boleh mengatakan apa sahaja yang anda suka tetapi sebagai anggota kerajaan yang memerintah, anda mesti bertindak dengan lebih bertanggungjawab dan bijaksana. Ini PAS mesti uruskan dengan risiko dilabel sebagai inhiraf atau menyeleweng dari perjuangan Islam oleh penyokong mereka.

Rumusannya, cabaran yang dihadapi oleh PM ke-8 dan kabinet barunya adalah seperti berikut:

1. Mengatasi ekonomi dengan ruang bertindak yang terhad untuk bergerak akibat situasi geo-politik yang tidak stabil dan pandemik Coronavirus19 yang menjejaskan ekonomi global

2. Teruskan inisiatif pengislahan atau menghadapi risiko kehilangan kepercayaan dan keyakinan dari rakyat

3. Bagaimana untuk meneruskan agenda pembaharuan sementara bekerja bersama dengan orang-orang yang akan paling terkesan akibat pembaharuan ini

4. Untuk menyatukan parti sendiri yang telah retak

5. Mengurus negara sementara himpit oleh dua partai yang lebih besar dengan ideologi yang berbeza

6. Melindungi kabinet daripada ahli politik yang tercemar yang menghadapi tuduhan rasuah dalam mahkamah yang akan merosakkan kredibilitinya serta reputasi negara yang telah terkesan akibat penyelewengan yang silam

7. Membentuk satu kerajaan yang berhidmat untuk semua rakyat Malaysia dan bukan kerajaan hanya untuk sebilangan rakyat Malaysia

8. Menghadapi pembangkang yang kini lebih bersatu dan yang telah dibersihkan dari pengkhianat dan anasir barah, yang dipimpin oleh TDM, lawan yang masih hebat walaupun berusia dalam sembilan puluhan tahun

Yang pasti, rakyat mengharapkan hasil serta-merta dan kurang sabar menantinya sebagai mana kerajaan PH pernah merasai sebelum ini. Kerajaan yang berkuasa dengan merampas kehendak popular rakyat atau secara sinis yang disebut sebagai ” pintu kerajaan belakang ” sudah tentu memikul kepincangan berat dari permulaannya dan akan mengharapkan syafaat dari langit, yang diyakini Pak Pak Lebai dari PAS akan memainkan peranan untuk meneruskan kesinambungan hidup mereka sehingga PRU 15.

Kami bagaimanapun tidak merasakan bahawa TSMY mempunyai satu pasukan impian yang mampu untuk bertahan sehingga GE15, apatah lagi menang.

Peristiwa yang berlaku sebelum ini, mengingatkan kita kembali tentang kisah Pyrrhus seorang raja negara Epirus (318-272 SM) yang berperang melawan tentera Rom. Beliau memenangi pertempuran di Asculum tetapi mengalami korban yang besar bahkan kemudiannya orang-orang Rom dapat menambah kembali kekuatan tentera mereka. Maka pengorbanan askar Epirus ternyata sia sia. Dia dilaporkan berkata “Jika saya mengalami pertempuran lain seperti ini, saya mungkin pulang ke Epirus seorang diri sahaja” Oleh itu, istilah “kemenangan Phyrric “ telah masuk kedalam kamus perumpamaan iaitu satu kemenangan yang dicapai dengan kos yang begitu besar sehingga membawa kepada kerugian.

Jalan politik khianat (angkara bekas ahli PKR dan juga parti Bersatu) telah membuat TSMY berjaya merampas kedudukan PM ke 8 dari cengkaman kedua-dua protagonis gergasi yang sedang bertarung. Dalam memenangi pertempuran PM, atau lebih sesuai diistilahkan sebagai ” pengkhianatan hak rakyat “, TMSY mungkin sebenarnya memperolehi kemenangan “Phyrric”

Walau bagaimanapun, hanya masa yang membuktikan samaada benar atau tidak. Kita menjangkakan dia berkemungkinan akan menyesal hari dia telah meninggalkan gabungannya dengan PH dan mengkhianati mentornya. Buat masa kini, dia harus berhadapan dengan prospek tidur sekatil dengan sepasang rakan yang gharib dan tidak serasi.


  • 8 Mac 2020


Prof Dr Awaluddin Mohamed Shaharoun 

Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)

Bagaimana pula dengan pakej pembaharuan kerajaan PH terdahulu yang diperkenalkan untuk memperbaiki tadbir urus, ketelusan, pemisahan antara eksekutif, perundangan dan kehakiman, menangani rasuah, pembaharuan sosial dan sebagainya? Adakah ianya akan diteruskan? Kami ingin berfikir begitu dan tidak syak lagi, pada peringkat bulan bulan awal pemerintahannya, suara-suara bising akan  timbul dari kalangan rejim baru untuk  mengesahkan komitmen kerajaan baru untuk meneruskan dasar-dasar ini. Ironinya, semua pembaharuan ini diperkenalkan kerana pengalaman pahit rakyat dengan gelagat kerajaan BN terdahulu dan tindakan bobrok mereka untuk mengekalkan kuasa. Pembaharuan ini adalah untuk menghentikan penyalahgunaan ini daripada berulang dalam era Malaysia  Baru. Walau bagaimanapun, kumpulan ahli politik yang melakukan pelanggaran dulu yang menyebabkan undang undang dan pembaharuan ini dilakukan sekarang ini telah kembali memegang tampuk kuasa.

Seperti permainan polis dan pencuri, pencuri kini telah bertukar menjadi polis. Adakah komitmen mereka untuk reformasi sekurang-kurangnya pada tahap yang sama seperti mereka yang terdahulunya bekerja tanpa mengenal penat lelah untuk menginstitusikannya? Ia tidak memerlukan pemikiran serius untuk menyelesaikan teka-teki ini. Memandangkan beberapa tokoh UMNO yang berpotensi memainkan peranan penting dalam kerajaan baru (perlu dibaca sebagai calon menteri cabinet di bawah TSMY) mereka sendiri menghadapi tuduhan korupsi dan penyalahgunaan kuasa, adakah  masuk akal bagi mereka untuk melaksanakan dasar-dasar yang akan menyebabkan diri mereka sendiri meringkok di Sungai Buluh? Ibarat musang menjaga ayam?

Amat besar kemungkinan mereka akan dibebaskan dari segala tuduhan atau hanya menerima pukulan lembut  dipergelangan tangan. Maka semua program reformasi PH yang terdahulu pasti akan terbatal. Usaha pembaharuan hanya akan diteruskan jika TSMY benarbenar komited, mempunyai daya tahan dan mendapat sokongan kuat akar umbi, tapi malangnya  TSMY  tidak punyai.

Dari sudut politik, apa lagi yang mungkin berlaku? Peristiwa-peristiwa minggu lalu hanya mengesahkan bahawa dalam politik Malaysia perkara dianggap mustahil  tidak mustahil berlaku. Mesyuarat Parlimen yang akan datang yang dijadualkan pada bulan Mac (walaupun sumber sekarang mengatakan ia mungkin ditangguhkan) boleh menyebabkan undi tidak percaya yang mungkin menatijahkan tamatnya tempoh Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang paling singkat didalam sejarah.

Walau bagaimanapun, sejajar dengan DNA politik Malaysia, kita menjangkakan akan berlaku gegaran dan kejutan lanjut. Rundingan tawar-menawar dan jual beli sedang berlaku hatta sekarang ini dengan pemenangnya merupakan sesiapa yang dapat menawarkan ganjaran atau imbuhan yang terbesar. Akuan bersumpah (SD) nampaknya tidak bernilai langsung kerana mereka mengubah kem secepat mereka dapat menandatangani SD masing masing.

Seperti yang dikatakan oleh seorang baru-baru ini, ahli politik Malaysia mencari mandat dari pengundi setiap lima tahun dan berjanji untuk bertindak atas nama rakyat dan menunaikan amanah mereka. Sebaik sahaja mereka mendapat lesen itu, selamat tinggal rakyat, kami boleh melakukan apa sahaja yang kami suka, menyokong sesiapa sahaja yang kami suka dan pergi jahanam dengan janji-janji kami (sehingga pilihan raya akan datang apabila tiba-tiba mereka muncul semula dengan perwatakan yang soleh dan memohon mandat untuk lima tahun akan datang).

TSMY berada dalam keadaan yang agak rapuh (bahasa kasarnya, terdesak). BERSATU, parti nyamuk yang kini dipimpinnya telah retak dua. Enam Wakil Rakyat dikatakan tidak menandatangani SD yang telah dia persembahkan untuk meyakinkan YDPA untuk memilihnya. TDM, yang menjadi pengerusi parti itu dan yang meletakkan TSMY pada kedudukan kuasa tertinggi parti BERSATU dan juga dalam PH kini mengatakan dia telah dikhianati olehnya. Ada suara sanggahan dari akar umbi yang mengatakan bahawa Majlis Tertinggi  tidak dibawa berunding dalam usaha membentuk kerajaan dengan UMNO dan PAS. Malah, status TDM yang telah meletak jawatan, dipujuk untuk kembali menjadi Pengerusi kini diisytiharkan oleh TSMY sebagai bukan Pengerusi,  malah beliau TSMY kini adalah Presiden dan Pengerusi parti .

Sekelip mata, beliau kehilangan sokongan TDM, Mukhriz, Maszlee Malek (MM) dan Syed Saddiq (SS). Pengundi PRU 2018 sangat menghargai MM dan SS kerana sikap mereka yang berani dan berprinsip di dalam ketidak-tentuan politik sekarang ini. Walaupun pada masa yang terbaik, mengekalkan kelestarian parti BERSATU menjadi masalah, dengan bertubitubi kekalahan dalam pilihan raya kecil, apatah lagi dengan kehilangan tokoh-tokoh besar yang menjadi pemimpin kebangsaan dengan ketokohan masing-masing.

Bagaimana pula dengan 10 pendekar yang melompat kapal dari PKR ke BERSATU? Adakah mereka dapat menampung kehilangan tokoh yang kini di kem TDM? Jawapan jangka pendek adalah ya, bahkan dialu-alukan dalam suasana jumlah kerusi diparti BERSATU yang merosot itu. Walau bagaimanapun, kesetiaan puak puak ini akan tetap diragui. Pendatang baru  tokoh kanan yang telah bekerja selama beberapa dekad dengan DSAI, yang mendapat kepercayaannya, kini telah menjadi penyangak, menikamnya dari belakang dan melompat kapal, tentunya tidak boleh dipercayai dalam jangka masa panjang. Malah ada di antara mereka orang yang mengidamkan jawatan tertinggi yang kini disandang oleh TSMY.

Menempatkan mereka di kalangan pengikut pengikut yang tidak puas hati kerana kehilangan perintis2  parti BERSATU dan tiba-tiba digantikan oleh kumpulan baru yang terus menikmati kerusi selesa di Kabinet Menteri bukan lah tugas yang boleh diambil ringan atau hanya dengn bersangka baik. Menyatupadukan partinya sendiri akan menjadi keutamaan bagi TSMY  untuk kejayaan masa jangka panjangnya dan kegagalannya akan menyebabkan dia akan diperas ugut oleh parti-parti gabungannya yang baru dan yang lebih besar.  Lagipun BERSATU sebagai pecahan dari UMNO mewarisi DNAnya, dan menerima kemasukkan orang lain adalah asing dengan budaya politik mereka. Oleh itu demi kepentingan kelangsungan jangka masa pendek, DSAA dan pasukan pengkhianatnya adalah dialu-alukan tetapi akan menimbulkan masalah jangka masa panjang. TSMY perlu bijaksana dan waspada, perlu sentiasa memandang kebelakang bagi mengelakkan nasib Anwar  dan TDM terjadi keatas dirinya pula.

Dengan mengandaikan bahawa dia tidak dapat menyelamatkan perpaduan partinya sendiri, apakah pilihannya selain itu? Senario seterusnya akan menyaksikan dia meninggalkan BERSATU dan kembali semula kepangkuan UMNO, senario yang bukan mustahil memandangkan  peristiwa yang telah berlaku minggu lalu. Tengku Razeleigh membawa kembali Parti Semangat 46 selepas meninggalkan UMNO berikutan pertembungan dengan TDM maka TSMY mendapat kawan yang se nasib. Melangkah kembali ke UMNO akan  membawa cabaran besar baginya. Beliau dibesarkan dan dipelihara di UMNO sebelum ini dan sudah biasa dengan budayanya, tetapi tetap ada cabaran kerana beliau akan kembali ke UMNO yang besar dengan kumpulan pengikut yang lebih kecil berbanding semasa menjadi presiden di parti BERSATU yang kecil.

Sebagai seorang PM, walaupun berada di dalam sebuah parti yang kecil di himpit antara PAS dan UMNO,  beliau menikmati kuasa dan leverage yang besar, tetapi tetap juga akan menghadapi cabaran besar kepada kualiti kepimpinannya. Sudah tentu kedua-dua pihak berminat untuk memperluas pengaruh mereka dalam agenda politik, sosial, agama dan ekonomi nasional. UMNO dan PAS tampil dari dua budaya politik yang agak  bertentangan antara satu sama lain, maka perbezaan pendapat dan penekanan dijangka pasti berlaku. PAS dari bentuk asas dan ideologinya akan menuntut agenda Islam untuk membela kehadirannya, tanpa mengira bantahan kaum atau agama lain. Dan UMNO dengan agenda nasionalisme pragmatik dan ultra Melayu seolah olah tidak dapat menawarkan apa-apa agenda pembangunan negara selain daripada retorik anti-DAP untuk menguasai emosi dan psyche Melayu untuk menentang orang Cina dan pada masa yang sama mengerjakan tabung negara.

TSMY akan menghadapi suasana yang sukar bagaikan  menunggang dua kuda liar dan mengawal nya serentak di sepanjang trek yang sama.  Disamping itu, dia menghadapi dua ancaman besar kepada kesejahteraan dan kestabilan negara yakni CoronaVirus2019 dan CronyVirus2020 yang baru muncul.


Prof Dr Awaluddin Mohamed Shaharoun

Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)