Malaysian Politics: I am a fence sitter! My slogan is “enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong!”

As a citizen of Malaysia, I have my own views about politics. I am not directly exposed to politics despite that my father used to be a politician and contested in an election. I do not have any ambition to be a politician and I am not a member of any political party. I constantly change my political ideologies because I am just a normal citizen of Malaysia. I change my ideologies based on what is happening around me and around the people I love.

Ballot box
Democracy is not effective if only less than 50% of the citizen or population exercise their rights to vote. Even if they have voted, without the right information – the democratic process is futile.

As a normal person, I have rights to express my opinion on certain issues. The right to express my views has always been the fuel that fires up my spirit everytime I am about to write something on my FB wall or blog. The only philosophy of my writings that doesn’t change and will not change is “enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong!” (al ʿamr bi-l maʿrūf wa-n nahy ʿan al munkar –  الأمر بالمَعْرُوف والنَهي عن المُنْكَر‎). This is one of the major commands of Allah, to all Muslims according to the Quran.

Since my childhood days, I have seen and lived with many people. I was raised by my parents who have taught me a great deal about being a critical thinker. They have asked me to read, write and think – like most parents would do. This is our nature – think, because, Allah has created us with a brain (a mind)! We have to think before we decide to accept something. Even in religion, Allah asks us to think about all the signs, if we are amongst those who think.

I was also raised in kampung with my grandparents when I was a kid. I went to a primary school in a northern part of Perak where I mingled with the kampung folks who taught me how important it is to have a well-connected community. I learned how the people in Kampung think and the way they value traditions and religion. I was taught by my mother and grandmother about Quran and the basic principles of Islam. My grandmother was a Quran teacher at the kampung, where she was called a “Mak Guru” and my grandfather was a retired policeman who was also an Imam.

Then, when I entered a secondary school – my father sent me to a religious boarding school in Kajang, Selangor. I have seen how Ustaz and Ustazah exercised their duties as teachers and whether or not they exercised their duties according to the principles of Islam. After the LCE (Lower Certificate Examination), I went to another boarding school in Pahang, where I learned about becoming a nationalist and scientist at the same time.

After the SPM examination, I went to Japan with a GLC’s scholarship and during a Biro Tatanegara Negara (BTN) course, I was brainwashed to be a true nationalist and a supporter of Malaysia. After I enrolled at a college of technology in Sendai, Tohoku – a political crisis in Malaysia erupted, and the majority of Malaysian people especially the Malays had risen up to support former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia, DS Anwar Ibrahim. I was there in Japan watching all the events unfolded with great curiosity.

TDM
Tun Dr. Mahathir, when he was still the Prime Minister of Malaysia

I remember one time, I watched all the news channels showing how the rioters on the streets were caught by the police and the scene was so chaotic, and it gave really bad impression about my beloved country, Malaysia. As a result, I immediately wrote a long article and sent it to a local newspaper, condemning the act of protestors who have tarnished the image of Malaysia in the eyes of international community. Most of my friends were shocked and they asked me why I did that (because it was really published, perhaps because it sounded like I supported the government!). I know why they were so upset because some of them were known to be the sympathizers of DS Anwar Ibrahim. I stood by my principles. I explained that what is wrong, remains wrong despite your aim to defeat the so-called “tyranny”.

TDM
Tun Dr. Mahathir now – as the Chairman of BERSATU (or PPBM)

Since then, I was labeled by my friends (who are more “politically savvy” than me) as a “Mahathir Fan”. That does not bother me at all, because there are things that DS Mahathir (now Tun) did that I agree, and there are some that he did that I disagree. There are some that other leaders did that I agree, and vice versa.

This image that they have about me admiring Tun Dr. Mahathir grew stronger after they have seen me purchasing almost all of Tun’s books and other books related to him. They see me as a real fan of Tun, despite that the only reason I purchased all those books because I wanted to understand about who was my Prime Minister and leader of Malaysia at that time. I also read books about Anwar, Pak Lah and some other leaders of Malaysia including Tuan Guru Nik Aziz and Lim Kit Siang. The reason I read, is because I cannot stop but thinking – think “about the bigger things”! I cannot just simply presume that all are right, so I have to get more facts before I can decide what is right or wrong.

Soon after graduated from the University, I joined an Oil and Gas company in Kuala Lumpur and worked there as an executive. I got the opportunity to learn about the other side of the coins – practically, it was more complicated than what I have learned at the schools. I also learned about how the people have to work hard to satisfy their end meets. For those who are at the top, the bottom line is always about profit and performance.

Soon after, things started to make real sense to me. I have seen a higher purpose in understanding about my basic principle of “enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong!

BN Trendy
The trend of BN performance in GE since 2004

In 2008, after the biggest defeat of BN in the 12th General Election (but they are not even defeated, I do not know why the mainstream media declared 2008 election’s result as a defeat in the first place?), I went to the United Kingdom accompanying my wife who had to do her master degree there in Science. There, I met a group of Muslim brothers who introduced me about “Usrah” (family circle) and “Dakwah” (invite people to the truth). There, I found the real sense of joy and hope, because I have met the platform for me to become the “real myself”. I have found a place where I do not have to be “someone else”.

32nd birthday
Celebrated my 32nd birthday in Sheffield, holding my eldest son who was just about one (1) year old.

Despite the meaning of Usrah and Dakwah that I use in the above paragraph, it has got nothing to do with any political party or even politics. In fact, the group that I joined was an NGO in Malaysia called IKRAM, which has been in the existence for quite some time in Malaysia. I have never been exposed to this organization when I was a teenager, nor I have met someone from IKRAM when I was at the University. Though it is regrettable that I only came to know about this group after my age was just over 30 years old, I thank Allah s.w.t. for still giving me the opportunity to return to the straight path, despite years of searching.

complete change
Reciting an opening of event prayer (dua) during an event organized by former employer in 2010

Since then, my purpose in life has changed. I have a better view of reality and sense that I can do many real works in “enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong!“. I have also improved my character to act upon what I know and believe, instead of just watching and criticizing. I feel that I am changing towards becoming a better person!

It is not IKRAM that influence my views about politics or nation building. It is more because I have my own thinking, which is to follow Al Quran and Sunnah. This is the only clear guidance that I will hold until the end of my life, which will guide me towards enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong! On top of that, my thinking process has taken into consideration my previous experience and knowledge in other disciplines.

IKRAM is just a mere organization. It will not guarantee me a ticket for Jannah or Paradise. It is a platform of brotherhood (Jamaah) so that I will not be doing this job alone. This struggle does not require me to be part of any political ideology because a political party or the political ideology will crumble over time. Only Al Quran and Sunnah will not be defeated, even without the democracy itself. Organizations, parties, countries or kingdoms are nothing without Al-Quran and Sunnah.

ikram members
An image showing around 5,000 participants from IKRAM Malaysia attending an event, showing the popularity of its cause among the Muslims community in Malaysia – credit to https://muharikah.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/apa-ada-pada-ikram/

The journey of searching for the best platform will continue. I can only thank Allah for sending me the help despite what I have gone through in the past. Allah is the best of all planner, and I hope that he would plan the best for me in the future – especially for Akhirah.

As for me, now that I am content with the role and contribution towards the community and organization that I am part of. I want to do more for the ummah and nation if I am given the opportunity to do so. InshaAllah.

In conclusion, I consider myself as a true neutral person who has unbiased political ideologies – despite that I went to PAS programs when I was a little, and used to be with Kelab UMNO in Japan. Despite all that, my only slogan now is “enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong!

As long as a politician starts doing the above principle of truth, which is enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong! then he or she should get my undivided support. Otherwise, he or she would just say goodbye to my vote. They also have to pray that I do not have any influence (over some of my relatives and friends), or otherwise – I would influence anybody around me or whoever reads my writings to follow my principle – or in the case of politics, to vote for certain parties that have the higher purpose or agenda. Which is:

Enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong!

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