Friday, November 21, 2014

Cebisan perjuangan Tan Sri Syed Jaafar bin Hasan Albar


Saya masih ingat kisah kehidupan sewaktu saya remaja. Kehidupan ketika itu begitu mudah dan suasana kampung begitu terasa. Kita bergantung sepenuhnya di dalam proses mendewasakan diri kepada kasih sayang yang di curahkan oleh ayahanda, bonda atau panggilannya walid atau ummi serta saudara mara. Walaupun hidup serba sederhana, namun senantiasa tenang dan bahagia. Kita hormat serta takut pada ayahanda dan bonda bukan kerana mereka garang atau keras tetapi ada adab dan santunnya dalam hubungan kekeluargaan. Terfikir saya betapa susahnya bonda menjaga 10 orang adik beradik. Tetapi mereka didik dan asuh setiap seorang dari kami supaya menjadi manusia berguna kepada keluarga dan masyarakat. Kami bimbing dan dididik supaya berpegang kepada nilai-nilai hidup yang murni dan beretika. Kedua-dua orang tua saya didik ahli keluarga supaya mudah bergaul dan tidak sombong dengan semua lapisan masyarakat.

Bonda tertumpu membesarkan anak-anak dan menguruskan rumahtangga. Dengan 10 orang adek-beradek (asalnya 12), rumah kami sentiasa hingar-bingar sepanjang masa lebih-lebih lagi bila berkumpul, bermesra dan bersantai. Zaman itu bonda tiada seorang pun pembantu rumah, tempatan ataupun orang asing untuk membantu. 

Setelah berpindah dari Kota Baru Kelantan ke Johor Bharu ayahanda saya kelam kabut cari tempat tinggal untuk menampung semua keluarga. Masa itu tidak banyak pilihan melainkan ambil sahaja apa yang ada atau ditawarkan. Akhirnya dapat menyewa rumah berek di Jalan Storey, Johor Bharu. Bila keadaan sudah tenteram dan ayahanda ada masa untuk mencari rumah lain yang lebih selesa dan berjaya kami berpindah lagi ke Jalan Wadi Hasan. Disitu dapatlah kami sekeluarga tinggal di sebuah rumah yang lebih selesa dan besar sikit. Wadi Hasan terletak diantara bandar dan kampung. 

Sedih bila fikirkan bagaimana bonda terpaksa bekerja keras membasuh baju, memasak untuk menyediakan hidangan ala kadar untuk famili yang ramai. Tetapi alhamdulillah semua cukup untuk setiap ahli keluarga kami menikmatinya. 

Ayahanda saya, setelah menjadi perantau dan habiskan persekolahannya di madrasah Al Junid, Singapura, beliau memulakan kerjaya sebagai seorang guru, kemudian menjadi guru besar di sekolah Arab Islah, Kota Bharu. Beliau juga menceburi bidang penulisan sebagai journalis akhbar dan majalah. Lebih bermakna lagi beliau menghabiskan hayatnya dengan mengabdikan diri pada UMNO. 

Bila kami berpindah semula ke JB beliau diambil menjadi penolong pegawai penerangan. Selepas itu bertugas sebagai ketua penerangan dan dua kali menjadi Setiausaha Agong UMNO di bawah kepimpinan Tunku. Selaku pemegang jawatan UMNO ayahanda saya menjelajah seluruh pelusuk negara mempromosikan UMNO dan kemudiannya Parti Perikatan. Tugas tersebut di pikul dengan penuh dedikasi dan komitmen serta amanah, ikhlas dan setia. Bila negara mencapai kemerdekaan kami sekeluarga berpindah ke KL dari Johor kerana UMNO berpindah. Saya tidak lupa yang beliau pernah berhenti dari jawatan Ketua Penerangan, Setiausaha Agong UMNO dan juga Menteri Muda Penerangan kerana berselisih dengan Tunku diatas soal dasar. Tetapi hubungan beliau dan hormatnya pada Tunku tidak pernah berubah.

Pada tahun 1955 Tunku menghantarnya sebagai Menteri Kaunselor Penerangan di Suruhanjaya Malaysia di Great Britain. Tujuan utama Tunku adalah untuk memperbaiki bahasa dan pertuturannya dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Saya boleh katakan yang ayahanda saya berkorban untuk agama, bangsa dan negara dan berjuang di medan politik UMNO sehingga akhir hayatnya. Justru beliau tidak pernah meninggalkan UMNO. 



Ayahanda saya berkerja sepenuh masa untuk politik dan UMNO. Sedangkan bonda menunggu dengan taat dan setia di rumah, betul-betul berfungsi sebagai suri rumah. Saban hari ayahanda di perantauan menjelajah untuk berceramah dan berkempen di seluruh pelusuk negara untuk memasarkan UMNO sebagai wadah perjuangan bagi memerdekakan negara dan umat Melayu dari belenggu penjajahan. Walau apa pun ayahanda saya tetap taat pada Tunku selaku Presiden Parti walaupun dari masa ke semasa dia mempunyai pegangan dan pendirian yang berbeza. Selalunya bila ada perbezaan prinsip berlaku, beliau akan mengundurkan diri dari jawatan tetapi tetap bertungkus lumus untuk UMNO. 

Apa yang saya catitkan adalah dari perhatian dan cerita kawan-kawan sezaman beliau. Ini bukanlah satu cerita lengkap tetapi selintas pandang. Ayahanda mengambil pendekatan menegakkan kebenaran secara tegas dan berani apabila menyentuh persoalan agama dan bangsa Melayu. Bukan bertujuan untuk menjadi juara dan beliau tidak ambil peduli apabila di panggil sebagai ultra oleh penjajah atau Lee Kuan Yew dalam menegakkan hak dan kedudukan orang Melayu. Padanya Lee Kuan Yew lebih chauvinis dan ultra bila memperjuangkan kedudukan kaum Cina di Singapura dan Semenanjung Malaya. Padanya ia jelas kelihatan jika di teliti dari ucapan serta penyataan-penyataan Lee Kuan Yew, semasa beliau berkempen ataupun dalam hujah-hujahnya. Tapi sebagai seorang yang cerdas dan pintar Lee Kuan Yew bijak berselindung disebalik kata-katanya. Adakalanya Lee Kuan Yew boleh dianggap lebih extreme lagi bila menghujahkan mengenai isu orang Melayu juga bangsa pendatang, yang dengan sendirinya menafikan realiti sejarah nusantara di rantau ini. 

Secara jujur dan ikhlas ayahanda saya berani menegur dan mengkritik siapa juga pemimpin tertinggi parti dan kerajaan semata-mata untuk kebaikan parti dan kerajaan. Walaupun demikian hubungannya dengan pemimpin tertinggi parti ataupun diperingkat akar umbi. Mithalnya beliau tidak segan menyatakan dia tidak setuju dengan pemberian Carcosa kepada kerajaan British dengan alasan mengapa perlu beri hadiah pada penjajah sedangkan mereka telah menjajah negara untuk sekelian lama dan meraih keuntungan darinya. Begitu juga prinsip terus terang beliau apabila menentang cadangan menyingkirkan Singapura dari Malaysia. Jajaran politiknya menarik dan ada masanya kontroversial. 

Oleh kerana keberanian dan ketegasannya beliau terkenal dan digelar ’Singa UMNO’. Di atas pengorbanannya Allah swt membalasnya. Bila beliau menghembuskan nafasnya yang terakhir, ia berlaku semasa membuat ucapan kepada Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO Johor selaku jawatan Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO Malaysia. 

Beliau berpegang kuat kepada prinsip maruah agama, bangsa dan negara tidak boleh digadai dan dipermudahkan. Penulisan ini hanya secebis cerita kecil tentang pengorbanan seorang pejuang negara. Matlamatnya bukan wang ringgit tetapi mahu melihat bangsa dan negara bebas dari belenggu penjajahan. Ucapannya menanamkan semangat waja kepada anak bangsa. Umno menjadi wadah suci yang di pupuk dengan jujur dan ikhlas. 

Penghormatan kepadanya adalah bila Dr. Mahathir mengizinkan supaya beliau disemadikan di perkarangan makam pahlawan di Masjid Negara diatas permintaan Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO Malaysia. Semoga Allah swt mencucuri rahmat keatas rohnya dan menempatkan beliau dalam kalangan para solehin.

Al-Fatehah



THE FUTURE OF ASEAN CITIES


INTRODUCTION

Cities are our future in every sense of the word. More and more of our population are going to be living in cities and more and more of our social, economic and cultural activities will focus on our cities. If previous generations and even the present generation have been shaped by the values of our kampungs, future generations will be shaped by the values of our cities. 

The role of mobility in future cities can hardly be overestimated. As urbanized population of the world passed the ‘symbolic threshold’ of 50 percent in 2007 going to exceed 60% by 2030 and the role of cities in the production of both economic and intellectual value is increasing (only 600 urban centers generate about 60 percent of global GDP; McKinsey Global Institute, 2011), the availability of transportation systems able to accommodate for future mobility needs of people and goods without consuming resources beyond acceptable level is quintessential. This is true both in the developed and developing worlds. The decisions we make today will influence how our cities will function in 20 years’ time and more. Hence the theme of this year’s LPT Symposium “The Future of Our Cities: Thinking Ahead, Building Together” is most apt. 

The future of urban mobility is certainly dependent on how urban transportation systems, and more generally cities, are today. And they are very different among each other in the first place. Cities around the world have different dimensions and structure, have reached solutions to their mobility needs that are very diverse. 

However there are a number of similarities among urban transportation of most cities. The building blocks of their transportation systems are very similar across cities and they differ in the way these components are used. 

When I say “our cities”, I do not just mean Malaysian cities but rather ASEAN cities. Why, you may ask? Well ever since I was Foreign Minister, I have always held the view that the ultimate success of ASEAN is measured not just by how many communiques are signed or how many Leaders’ Summits are held but also by how relevant ASEAN is to our citizens. Do we, ordinary citizens, feel that our lives are better off because we are in ASEAN? Do we feel that we have a personal stake in the success of ASEAN? Do we? If I were to answer honestly, and not diplomatically, I would have to say “Not that much”. So let me practice what I preach and talk today not just about the future of Malaysian cities but “The Future of ASEAN Cities”. 

At this point in time transportation is a problem in most cities exactly because it fails to achieve the standards of economic and environmental efficiency that would be desirable for their citizens and institutions. Thinking about future urban mobility is thus not only a challenging intellectual exercise, but could provide some insight on what “evolution trajectories” are to be preferred, or avoided, from the social and economic perspectives. 

“Changes in urban transportation can be induced by a number of factors either acting independently or jointly to shape future configurations.” In this regard the future of our cities must be seen in the context of whether it is able to sustain mobility of people and goods. This will require us to look at the supply chain, be it LRT, MRT or other modes to meet the needs and demands of public transport. Of course this must fit in with the Master Plan On Public Transport to shape perception to gain acceptance on the usage of public transport. The big challenge is when cities transformed to mega cities. The primary role of public transport must be to sustain mobility. In the context of ASEAN we need to manage the Asian Economic Community (AEC). 

CONTEXT – THE ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY 

ASEAN has always been the cornerstone of Malaysia’s foreign policy. It always had an economic dimension. Malaysia pioneered the policy of “Prosper Thy Neighbour” to try and ensure that we reduced the economic disparities among the different ASEAN countries. I am therefore very happy that ASEAN is going to implement the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, a year that coincidentally Malaysia holds the ASEAN chairmanship. The AEC is one of the three pillars of Bali Concord II of ASEAN encompassing the economic, political-security and socio-cultural. However the AEC is the most pragmatic and significant of the three pillars. 

The business case for the AEC is compelling. If ASEAN were a single country, it would already be the seventh-largest economy in the world. Its combined 2013 GDP is of US2.4 trillion is more than 25% larger than India’s economy in the same year. Its population of more than 600 million is larger than that of the European Union or North America. ASEAN has the third-largest labour force in the world behind only the other two Asian giants China and India. Equally importantly, it is a youthful population and thus can reap the demographic dividend. Not only is the ASEAN economic performance outstanding, it is also resilient. The current economic troubles in the US and EU did not have major adverse impact on ASEAN’s economic performance. 

CITIES AND ASEAN’S ECONOMIC GROWTH 

Now all this present and future potential from economic growth is all very nice, but what has it got to do with the future of ASEAN cities, you may ask. The answer is of course that cities are the engines of economic growth. For this purpose, I wish to make clear that when I refer to cities, I mean urban areas having a population of 200,000 or more. Based on the minimum population, Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates show that in 2013 just over one-third of ASEAN’s population lives in cities and they generate two-thirds of the region’s GDP. Successful implementation of the AEC therefore depends in large part on the state of ASEAN cities. 

Urbanization is a major driver of economic growth. In fact no country has ever climbed from low-income to middle-income status without a significant population shift into cities. In Malaysia, for example, real GDP per capita (in purchasing power parity terms) rose 3.4% annually as the urban share of the population increased from 50% to 72%. Cities have productivity advantages that result from the effects of agglomeration. Agglomeration represents the efficiency advantages from the clustering of firms and economies of scale within an urban area. There has therefore been a progressive concentration, specialization and integration of production and capital in cities that offer such competitive advantages. 

This is true not only at the national level but also at the global level. Decisions on location of economic activity now depend less on particular countries and more on the comparative advantages on different cities. Investment tends to concentrate in cities where integration into the global economy is easiest responding not only to national incentives but also to better access to communications technology, international capital markets, as well as globally integrated value chains of production and distribution. ASEAN cities have benefited from these global trends. Kuala Lumpur and Penang are leading global exporters of electronics goods, while Ayutthaya and Chonburi have joined the ranks of major vehicle and automotive parts exporters. Metro Manila and Cebu have established thriving business processing outsourcing industry serving clients in North America while the city-state of Singapore dominates regional finance and logistics industries. 

Millions of ASEAN citizens benefited from these trends. The urbanization rate in ASEAN for the period 1994-2012 was 0.6% per annum. This resulted in the urban population increasing by almost 10 percentage points. The international consultant McKinsey estimates that in 2012 some 81 million households in ASEAN cities are part of the “consuming class” with annual income exceeding US$7,500 in purchasing power parity terms. This is the level at which they can afford to make significant discretionary purchases such as motor vehicles, refrigerators and the like. Millions more have lifted themselves out of poverty by migrating from rural areas to cities to take advantage of economic opportunities and higher incomes afforded by these global trends. 

But they were not the only beneficiaries. The economist Paul Krugman got his Nobel Prize for his insights into the link between spatial urban economics and international trade theory, insights that rural migrants to cities seemed to instinctively possess. The academic and consultant Michael Porter got rich and famous advising the rich and famous on the benefits of urban clusters, again benefits that the nameless, faceless masses of ASEAN instinctively knew. 

ASEAN CITIES – TRENDS, CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS 

Let us now see what the wise men have to say about the future. McKinsey estimates that by 2030 ASEAN cities will house 45% of the total population and generate 76% of the region’s GDP. At one end of the scale the number of cities with a population of 5 million or more is expected to increase to from the current 4 to 11 while at the other end of the scale there will be 160 cities with a population of 200,000 to 750,000. The “consuming class” will expand to 163 million households. The population growth rate will be higher in the case of the smaller cities. Cities with a current population of 200,000 – 750,000 are expected to growth at a rate of 6.5%, those with between 750,000 – 2 million at 6.1%. Current second-tier cities having between 2 million – 5 million people will grow at 5.4% and megacities with more than 5 million at 5.1%. Thus ASEAN’s urbanization trend is much more than the continued growth of its largest cities or its capital cities. All in all an additional 90 million people are expected to move to ASEAN cities in the next 15 years. 

Cities are exceedingly complex systems and managing such rapid expansion is no small task. Although cities generate employment and nurture innovation, their expansion can often be accompanied by environmental degradation. If ASEAN cities grow faster than their infrastructure, the result will be uncontrolled urban sprawl that destroys established communities and imposes higher costs of service provision. The balance between the benefits of urbanization and the cost needs to be managed since in the future, it is clear that the quality of life for most ASEAN citizens will be determined by the nature of cities. Bright prospects are neither guaranteed nor universal. Even now, visitors to some ASEAN cities are often greeted by the sight of traffic congestion, uncollected garbage, beggars, and the squalid living conditions of squatter areas. 

Prof. Herbert Giradet, a recipient of the UN Global 500 Award for outstanding environmental achievements and co-founder of the World Future Council, in 1996 came up with a memorable statistic – that cities occupy only 2% of the planet’s land area but consume 75% of its resources. Personally I think that this is a good example of academics being too clever by half when bandying about statistics. Why did he use urban land area and not urban population as the basis of his comparison? After all resources are consumed by people and not by the land. Probably because saying cities contain 45% of the planet’s population and consume 75% of its resources does not sound as dramatic. Be that as it may, his underlying point is valid even if his use of statistics is not, namely that we need to use our resources more efficiently. 

Economic growth has traditionally been associated with increases in both energy consumption and mobility. Both have environmental implications. They increase the emission of air pollutants. Cities are the major source i.e. 80% of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and climate change. 

ASEAN is not immune from these potential threats. Many of ASEAN’s largest cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore are all located near the coast and thus vulnerable to increases in sea level brought about by climate change. ASEAN cities now have a window of opportunity to set its second-tier and smaller cities on a more sustainable development path and to address the growing pains of its largest cities before they become intractable problems. As explained earlier, AEC will generate additional resources for each ASEAN country. ASEAN cities have to ensure that we use these resources efficiently in the future. The single most effective manner to do this is to curb urban sprawl, the uncontrolled and excessive spatial expansion of cities leading to inefficient use of land, capital investment and other resources. I consider urban sprawl to be one of the most significant if least documented example of market failure. Make no mistake, sprawl imposes real financial costs to the public. It increases the cost of providing essential public services such as water and waste removal, it leads to increased capital investment such as roads. It is also inequitable since lower income people who are less likely to rely on cars are correspondingly less like to benefit from the additional investment in road infrastructure. Then there are the intangible costs of congestion and pollution arising from a sprawling city. 

Policy makers in ASEAN cities currently have one major existing policy tool to guide the pattern of urban development namely transport infrastructure investment policy. If we want to foster a compact urban form, then our transport investment has to necessarily give priority to public transport investment. If we instead give priority to building roads in the name of connectivity and relieving congestion and leave public transport until later, then we can be sure that the city urban form will be shaped by private vehicle use and the task of installing public transport and changing travel behaviour will be more difficult. 

I also agree with the urban strategy put forward in the New Climate Economy Report 2014 prepared by the Global Commission on Climate and the Economy. This Commission is chaired by the former President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon. It is a very good and informative report and I strongly urge all of you to read it. When it comes to future urban development, it recommends compact, connected and coordinated cities or what I like to call the 4C approach. 

Different cities can apply the 4C approach in different ways. Small and medium-sized cities in ASEAN growing at 6% or more per year could design in compact urban growth features from the start. These include integrating residential, commercial and industrial areas and designing efficient public transport routes. They could provide connected infrastructure by introducing road-based public transit system such as the conventional bus and Bus Rapid Transit systems. Where appropriate urban rail systems including trams could also be provided. They can introduce coordinated governance by building up capacity, systems and procedures to carry out integrated land use – transport planning. 

Medium and large ASEAN cities expecting growth rates of 5-6% per annum could introduce several compact urban growth strategies. These include re-densification through regeneration of existing city cores and supporting hubs, developing multiple hubs, encouraging brownfield re-development, encouraging transit-oriented developments and urban retrofitting as well as managed growth of the urban periphery. For connected infrastructure, they could consider expanding public transport systems and introducing new forms of public transport such as mass rapid transit systems. For coordinated governance, they need to practice integrated land use – transport planning and develop financing structures to support public transport including considering road pricing and land value capture mechanisms. 

All this may sound academic and theoretical for some of you. Let me assure you that it is not. Two cities of similar population and socio-economic function and status can have very different impact on resource utilization and carbon emission depending on the policy choice they make whether to opt for a compact city or a sprawling city. Let us look at some real cities to illustrate this point. Houston has a population of 2.5 million. Barcelona has a population of 2.8 million. Both have important economic functions, Houston being the largest city in Texas, one of the best performing states economically in the US and Barcelona the capital of Catalonia, the most economically vibrant region of Spain. Yet Houston occupies 4,280 sq. km while Barcelona occupies just 162 sq. km. You can imagine the waste in resources. Houston spends about 14% of its city GDP on transport compared with 4% in Barcelona. Transport carbon dioxide emissions are 7.5 tonnes per person per year in Houston compared 0.7 tonnes per person in Barcelona. 

It is up to us now to decide which model we in ASEAN would like to follow – Houston or Barcelona? Do we want urban sprawl or a compact city? Do we want a car-oriented city or a public transport-oriented city? In case you are still not sure, just google for the 2014 Quality of Life survey published by Monocle magazine. You will find Barcelona rated No 21 in the world. Houston is not even mentioned. By the way, I want to assure you that I am not picking on Houston because it is George Bush’s hometown! That’s pure coincidence. 

CONCLUSION 

I know that I have spoken at some length this morning. But I could not help it. The topic, the Future of ASEAN Cities, somehow combined my twin professional passions. I am passionate about ASEAN and I am passionate about the need for better public transport in our cities. I firmly believe that in this globalized world, in a world of large trading blocs, size matters. We therefore need to make the AEC a success for our own success. 

The success of AEC in large part will be determined in our cities because our cities are the driving force of our economies. For that, we need to ensure that our cities function as efficiently as possible. While I recognize that good public transport by itself is not enough to make a city efficient, in the future with the rates of urbanization that we are seeing, no city can be considered efficient if it does not have good public transport. The success of AEC and the success of ASEAN cities will be mutually reinforcing. AEC will provide the additional resources to increase our cities’ quality of life while better quality of life in our cities will attract more investment to the AEC. So if you were to ask me what I wish for the future of ASEAN cities, my answer is simple– I want ASEAN cities to dominate the world’s quality of life indices in the future. Then every ASEAN citizen will know that he or she has a personal stake in the success of ASEAN. 

Thank you

By 
YB TAN SRI DR SYED HAMID ALBAR 
CHAIRMAN OF SPAD 
TUESDAY 18th NOVEMBER 2014 
HILTON KL SENTRAL

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SAJAK : PERJUANGAN DAN PENGORBANAN


Aku ungkil kata di alam pertanyaan
Mengapa sunyi tanpa jawapan
Sedang berada di apong fikiran
Namun berkemelut kekeliruan
Mahu bertanya pada yang berpengetahuan
Insan jahil di pentas pemodenan
Sunyi walaupun bersama penghuni beribuan
Terasa bersendirian melakar harapan
Perjuangan terpinggir keseorangan
Lima puluh tujuh tahun mengecap kemerdekaan
Namun banyak lagi membelenggu perjalanan
Bosan di beritahu apa yang perlu ku laku dan katakan
Bukankah hutan rimba dan halaman
Sudah dilapangkan
Bangsawan, jutawan bertaburan
Menghirup kekayaan dan kemewahan
Aku hanya berkata tentang kemajuan
Agendamu kata pengorbanan
Aku khuatir jelata kebuluran dalam kemewahan
Aku dan keturunanku memerhati di tepian
Sedang kau berlumbaan dalam persaingan
Ekonomi pasaran
Umat ku tiada kesatuan
Terus di perkecilkan
Adakah kau ambil tahu
Yang berlantaran mencari kehormatan
Mungkin di akhir terowong
Ada cahaya kelihatan
Sebelum terlambat
Tertinggal sebagai sebahagian
Lakaran pensejarahan.

Sha. 5.40 petang. 
Teratak Shifaq.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

SAJAK : MASEHKAH KAU INGAT



Masehkah kau ingat
Janji-janji padaku
Di beberapa purnama yang telah berlalu
Kau kata aku ini perlu
Ide ku menyegarmu
Pandangan ku tidak samar
Kau merayu untuk aku bantu
Hormatnya aku dari kata-katamu
Aku tidak meminta wang ringgit diberi
Hanya menuntut pada janji yang kau taburi
Aku hanya mencari kelegaan di bumi Ilahi
Kau kata pasti di lestari
Lunak bahasa di ungkapi
Bila kau tiba ke mercu tinggi
Kau sudah lupa
Kau dijulang
Aku percaya lantas korban segala
Bila berada di pentas dunia
Kau sudah lupa
Curiga pada kawan dan sahabat lama
Di ambang kuasa terhembur mendusta
Masehkah kau ingat
Perjuangan dan pengorbanan
Dimana tercampak semua
Masihkah kau ingat janji-janjimu
Kini kau memungkiri
Kau laku kan sesuka
Aku dan jelata keliru dan bercelaru
Kau minta aku memberi jasa untuk nusa
Kau laungkan perjuangan nusa dan bangsa
Kau laku disebaliknya
Kau telah hancurkan percaya
Kau rupa-rupanya bermuka
Manis di bibir dusta
Curiga mengurus kuasa
Ada ramai membisik di telinga
Membawa nasihat-nasihat durjana
Gerombolan tanpa ihsan dan saksama
Berkuasa berasa perkasa
Kau campak janji di pinggir sana
Kau mahu aku di hina
Kau sekat supaya aku buntu tidak terkata
Kau penindas manusia yang setia
Kau bunuh harapan dan percaya
Sudah lupa agaknya fitnah seraya
Didorong bermain kata tidak bermakna
Aku yang percaya
Hampa
Kau maseh ingat kah?
Segala janji-janji murni
Kata lunak dari mulut mu meminta
Membolot harta dan kuasa
Ah kau mudah lupa segala
Dari mula kau bertapak
Tidak akan mengotakannya
Aku mangsa
Namun kau tidak dapat menoda hormatku
Kau mahu melumat aku seperti tanah dan debu
Kau maseh ingat kah janji-janji mu
Aku silap percaya
Sebenarnya aku bertemu serigala
Tapi pemimpin ku
Jangan alpa pada pencatit sempurna
Dan aku juga tidak akan lupa

27hb Ogos 2014
Teratak Shifak
Pukul 9 pagi
Kuala Lumpur.

Opening Remark on HSR Seminar 2014



Good morning ladies and gentleman and welcome to HSR Seminar 2014. 

Honorable State Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Government of Japan, Mr. NISHIMURA, and distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen, good morning to all of you. 

I am delighted to welcome the seminar delegates companies and members of the Rail Trade fraternities, who have gathered here in Kuala Lumpur. Some of you have traveled from afar to be here today and this bodies well for your confidence in the Malaysian economy and what we here in Malaysia have to offer. May I take this opportunity to thank the organizer for choosing Malaysia as the venue for the event. 

Ladies and gentlemen, 

Railway and other infrastructure projects are a key element in the growth of Malaysia’s economy. A number of projects have already received full government backing and funding and we at SPAD are committed to developing and implementing a world class transportation system, both here in Kuala Lumpur and throughout the rest of Malaysia. The government has embarked into many rail projects amongst other is The Klang Valley MRT, which will be Malaysia’s largest ever infrastructure project. This will provide 3 new MRT lines, with up to 150km of track and more than 90 new stations. The electrification and upgrading of the West Coast is ongoing and there are now plans for a four stage East Coast mainline. 

On the higher scale, the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore recently announced a high speed link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which will cut rail travel time between these two major economic centers to just 90 minutes. These developments illustrate Malaysia’s commitment to continued expansion in the railway industry and demonstrate that now is a good time to be in railways and in Malaysia. Ladies and gentlemen, When we relate economy with Land Public Transport Commission (S.P.A.D), I cannot emphasize enough the importance, effectiveness and efficiency of the transport and storage sector. It contributes significantly to the country’s economy. This is 3.2% of the country’s GDP. As we aim for a GDP growth of 8% per annum, so we must make sure that the transport and logistics sector also grows accordingly. After all one of the mandates of S.P.A.D. is to increase the efficiency of the freight transport and logistics industry in Malaysia. 

Ladies & Gentlemen, 

Malaysia has a critical economic agenda and must stick to strict timelines if it is to achieve its goal of becoming a developed nation by the year 2020. S.P.A.D plays a critical and pivotal role in ensuring Malaysia meets its targets for Vision 2020 as public transport has been identified as a key driver for growth, and considered a prerequisite for the progress of Malaysia’s economic transformation. In order to do all this, we are guided by, amongst others, the National Land Public Transport Masterplan. 

This Masterplan aims to make public transport the people’s mode of choice via the transformation of the Malaysian public transport system. It aspires to increase mobility, create liveable cities and support economic growth and transformation. Our target is to have 40% modal share for public transport in the urban areas by the year 2030 and increased public transport connectivity in the rural areas. 

Ladies and gentlemen, 

There is much we can learn from one another and SPAD is committed to provide the means and environment in order to achieve this. Seminars such as these provide the platform to increase and improve professional standards with the ultimate end goal being to improve land public transport services and facilities in Malaysia. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to Honorable State Minister Mr. NISHIMURA and other delegates and I would like to convey my best wishes to everyone involved in this seminar for its success. 

Thank you.

Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
4th November 2014

SAJAK : KESEDIHAN DALAM RENUNGAN


Aku menyingkap dari kotak fikiranku,
Dalam kesunyian fajar syahdu,
Aku melihat kepada perangai alam,
Tidak menentu dan tahu,
Berubah dan bergolak padu,
Ada masa aku terleka,
Pada nikmat yang bertalu

Ada ketika aku sedih pilu
Umat dan agamaku tercemar
Terlantar di persada hina
Tiada hormat dan mulia
Insan dibeli dunia
Lupa perintah lupa Allah
Terus sibuk berbalah
Saf tiada,
Syahada dibibir kata

Hilang amalan tanpa pegangan
Berlinangan air mata kerinduan
Pada kemuliaan dan kegemilangan
Tangan dan muka berlumuran darah
Lemah lesu tidak hikmah
Dipinggir di letak Quran dan Sunnah
Mencari panduan untuk berhemah
Terletaklah di sudut rendah
Sebelum bangkit untuk menegak ubah.

TSSHA@22 September 2014
5.22am @ New York

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Love & Forgiveness in Governance


Love & Forgiveness in Governance – Learning from Experience Love and forgiveness are universal values that seem to transcend race, culture, and nationality, making them a central part of what makes us human. 

In view of the above, I find it difficult to talk about forgiveness as if it is something tangible or material. To me forgiveness is the outcome or response to a certain act or omission. It may be done consciously or unconsciously but with the effect of not taking a certain action during a crisis will cause harm or hurt to another person. This act of forgiveness is with us all the time. It can flow from one side to the other or it is simultaneous actions or omissions of two parties. 

Governance, on the other hand, means the person or persons who made up the body created a body to administer the act of governing or exercising authority. To execute the act of governing of exercising authority, I have to look at the options available and ultimately decide which one is the best option to take. 

This can be done through passive or active actions. For example, when questioned, one can explain why one is taking certain specific actions or decide to ignore and not to respond to the party who had done something wrong or harmed you. 

In the case of administering justice, one may not impose the maximum sentence but after weighing all the circumstances, one may decide to mete out a lenient sentence with the hope that that said offender will understand the gesture as a motivation for him or her to change. In summary, these acts or non-acts of governance could be in the form of words, symbolic or a combination of both. 

In a conflict situation, specifically one that involves physical violence, the victims can be the core element with a perpetrator who has a sense of remorse to find a lasting alternative solution. In other words the forgiveness must come from the victims as well as the perpetrator. It cannot be one sided. It can be done on an individual basis, or collectively. 

Perhaps one of the most widely recognized individuals of our times associated with love and forgiveness in governance is none other than Nelson Mandela. Mandela galvanized his country to pursue a path of forgiveness and reconciliation, enabling many to move past the numerous atrocities that occurred during the reign of apartheid. Having been subjected to a total of 27 years in prison, much of which he served on Robben Island, Mandela was uniquely positioned to exemplify the act of love and forgiveness for his fellow compatriots. (Source: Mandela's Life and Times, BBC) 

Mandela was a living proof that leaders must be able to translate their wishes. He or she may also have to exercise influence or use persuasion to gain acceptance by the victims and by the society. The role of political leaders, religious or cultural in this regard is crucial and fundamental. 

Good governance is the key to ensuring that the process of decision making is undertaken in a fair and just manner. The dilemma often faced in this context is to ensure a balance can be struck between attaining discipline and respect for the laws and regulations and avoiding having forgiveness being interpreted as a weakness that will encourage indiscipline and lawlessness. Both elements of deterrence and punishment must be present in forgiveness. 

If governance does not satisfy the characteristics of good governance then it will germinate evil. In my opinion, good governance to me must satisfy the elements of integrity, trustworthiness, responsibility, accountability, transparency and adherence to the rule of law. 

Amnesty can amount to forgiveness, but forgiveness is beyond amnesty, because it is accompanied by values and a sense of mercy and compassion towards others discarding ego. However, this should not be taken to mean that there is no sense of accountability in forgiveness. The wrong doer should understand that there is accountability so as to ensure there will be no repeat of the wrong previously committed. In order for forgiveness to not be considered as biased or prejudiced, it must be advocated by taking into account the feelings and sentiments of the victims. At the same time, it must encourage looking forward to building a future based on love, understanding, trust and goodwill. 

What is the intention of forgiveness? This must be done with a view to start anew and to create a society that is just and fair. This means we have to look at the material dimensions alongside the spiritual fulfillment. It cannot be lopsided. When forgiveness is exercised with a hidden agenda and without sincerity and truthfulness, it is not sustainable and may result in further conflict. 

The other dilemma often confronted is how to create an equilibrium between extremism and moderation while taking into account the political, economics, security and socio-cultural interests and imperatives of the society and nation. Hence, the middle road of moderation plays a key role. 

Forgiveness gives you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. This contributes to confidence building, understanding, and goodwill individually and collectively, which directly and indirectly provides peace and cohesion at the social level. The saying goes forgive and forget, which brings about reconciliation and social order. These two factors help to establish a conducive environment for maintaining and sustaining personal and societal relationships in a positive and constructive manner. 

There are many factors that lead to the act of forgiveness. This includes the desire to be fair and just, and the feelings of compassion and mercy. Through these factors, love will flow to the individual as well as society. In this context, social cohesion, unity and solidarity will produce a sense of humanity and common bond of love. It will give internal and external strength to the individual, society and nation states to practise and adopt forgiveness as part of their governance. 

Missed opportunities, basically means the failure to take advantage of moments and situations which present itself for reconciliation. This could stem from bias and prejudice due to sentiment of hate and vengeance. Individuals, societies and nation states will not be able to manage love and without love, they cannot manage forgiveness. 

The consequence is no attempt will be made to find a common ground for reconciliation. Thus, it will result in tension and instability; one side will always think that they are doing the right thing. All blame and fault will be placed on the other side. For dialogues and engagements, there must be willingness to be open and to begin discourse without conditions. One mechanism or instrument which can be used is the agency of a facilitator or a third party with who is neutral with no pre-conceived ideas and agendas to bring both sides together. Without a doubt, formal and informal engagements can lead to finding a solution through the platform of forgiveness. It could be done by building bridges of trust, understanding and goodwill. 

In summation, I would like to end by quoting the pearls of wisdom by two distinguished and passionate advocates of love and forgiveness whom I have immense regards for: 

“Hate is the absence of love, any only through love can hatred be removed from the heart. Arguably, the disease of hatred is one of the most devastating forces in the world. But, the force that is infinitely more powerful is love. Love is an attribute of God, hate is not. A name of God mentioned in the Quran is Al-Wadud, the loving one”. (Hamzah Yusoff, 2012:19) 

Desmond Tutu in his book of "Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and our World", said: 
“forgiveness is truly the grace by which we enable another person to get up, and get up with dignity, to begin anew. To not forgive, leads to bitterness and hatred. Like self-hatred and self-contempt, hatred of others gnaws away at our vitals. Whether hatred is projected out or stuffed in, it is always corrosive to the human spirit”. 

Reconciliation can repair and restore relationships and this in return can turn around the various intractable conflicts that we are witnessing in some parts of the world today.