The great Plato had once said “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
What a man of wisdom Plato was.
I cannot help but think that politicians are our inferiors in a lot of ways. They couldn’t see the forest for the trees. By bickering and fighting for power constantly and consistently, they demonstrated the spirit of the famous Malay proverb “Menang sorak kampung tergadai,”
What is the use of being the political power of a poor and dysfunctional Malaysia? Even if you win in the end, Malaysia’s economy is suffering and you end up with a lot more headache and little pleasure of winning.
If you guys are anything like me, you might find yourself in a state of acute attention deficit (LOL) while completing the chores of your daily life… because the bulk of your concentration has been swallowed up by political issues in the social media.
Well… I certainly admit that I sure was distracted and kept on refreshing my newsfeed every now and then in between patients, just to be up-to-date on the progress and repercussions of Langkah Sheraton by the Azmin camp (I couldn’t help but think that perhaps Tun M was the mastermind behind the move regardless of what other people say to the contrary. He is a cunning old fox, that man!)
The political scenario in Malaysia has never been more interesting. But at what cost? One has to wonder, is it worth the sacrifice?
To me, it is worth it. If it means we can take DAP out of the picture, it is worth it. Because I believe, judging by the various racial and religious issues for the past 2 years, Malaysia desperately needs political cleansing.
DAP IS A LIABILITY
Have you ever tried working with a difficult person? How efficiently can you do your work when you have to navigate the myriads of attitude problems, incompetence and dramas that ensue due to the person’s difficult behavior? Sure, you might still be able to complete your task at the end of the day but the end result would not be as good as it could have been if only you had teamed up with a better person who shared your vision.
And Malaysia is desperate enough to need an efficient leadership that can focus on delivering good results for the people rather than having their leaders being embroiled in a lot of dramas secondary to excessive politicking of issues (Isu arwah Adib, isu kuil di tanah haram, isu jawi, isu tanglung, isu ponggal, isu LTTE, isu LGBTQ, isu menteri perpaduan racist). There are so many racial and religious issues these days that are politicized ad nauseam, ad infinitum…until politicians could not channel the bulk of their time towards governing.
I kind of empathized with Tun M’s need to do something drastic to change the whole cabinet working under him. There might be times when he feels like his hands are tied from doing what is right… because ministers under him listen to the direction of their respective parties which prioritize their own party’s agenda rather than the agenda of the country. There is no unanimous idea of what constitutes the Malaysian aspirations anymore. Politicians from different parties that make up the government are pulling Malaysia in many different directions that at the end of the day, we don’t move at all. In fact, we regress!
DAP will always champion the dubious concept of Malaysian Malaysia while at the same time turning a blind eye on how vernacular schools is not conducive to the concept of Malaysian Malaysia! There will be no true unity when the future leaders of Malaysia go to different type of schools in their childhood and each race grow up being distrustful of another race because they could not agree on something as basic as the content of the Malaysian Constitution. They screamed ‘discrimination’ when things don’t go their way, demanding the Malays to sacrifice their privileges bit by bit, but at the same time they are not willing to meet us half way by agreeing to be educated in the same school to promote unity. I have always said that we should stop with racial-based quota if other races would agree to be schooled in the same system. Let’s declare that the first batch who enter the national stream will no longer be subjected to racial quota. I am trying to be fair in which all races sacrifice and compromise. You want to gain something, you must give up something too. Jangan kiasu!
Remember, the social contract exists because their forefathers were given citizenship en masse… and their forefathers had insisted on vernacular schools because initially, the Indians and the Chinese had always wanted to return to their Motherland. The vernacular schools existed initially as a preparation for them to return to their respective countries. What is the relevance of vernacular schools now when they all claim that they are as much of a Malaysian as the Malays and demand people to stop treating them as second class citizens! At the same time, they go “oh even though I am Malaysian, I am learning the syllabus of another country and so please recognize the UEC ya.” They play victim all the time. The Facebook status of a fellow netizen, Mohamaad Jamalee below, illustrate my point so perfectly.
You cannot have it both ways! And then, you shamelessly play victim when we don’t allow you to manipulate us into allowing you to have it both ways. We are not that stupid to not see the game some of the Chinese chauvinists are playing!
In a way, I applauded UMNO’s decision to insist on exclusion of DAP from future government! These chauvinistic Chinese should not be allowed any more leeways until they learn to compromise. Most Malays I know are saying they will never again vote for any coalition that has DAP in it! And I am one of the Malays who are saying that.
The Propagation Of LGBTQ Agenda
Some non-Muslims are not trying to champion their religious values of Hinduism or Buddhism or Christianity… but they are championing the immoral values from the West instead. This kind of trend is becoming more prominent after PH won GE14, 2 years ago.
Look, let’s be clear here. NO RELIGION has ever endorsed homosexuality. A devout Muslim/ Christian/ Jew/Hindu/Buddhist will similarly frown upon homosexuality. It’s just that Islam is more vocal about it in the context of Malaysia. Some Malaysians from other religions are also too timid to profess their true stand about homosexuality because they are so afraid of being labeled ‘backward and intolerant’ by these pro-LGBTQ people. But Muslims do not have a choice of being silent about this… keep on reading, and you will know why we don’t have a choice of being silent when we see something like this is being championed.
Let’s examine our worldview first. Some of our fellow Malaysians are championing the freedom to “do whatever we want as long as we don’t harm others” (I have talked about it in my previous blog post. Click HERE https://afizaazmee.wordpress.com/2019/12/17/how-did-you-know-that-who-told-you-that/ ) and are trying to impose THEIR worldview on the religious people of the country.
It is THEIR worldview that they can do anything they want as long as they don’t harm others. However, OUR worldview as a religious person is “we are not free to do anything that we want even if it doesn’t harm others because things that we do that don’t harm others might still harm ourselves and those things are still wrong in the religion!”
So now, we have two different worldviews… BOTH are saying that the other is imposing their view on them.
So, you must understand that your opinion, your ethics, your culture, your religion… they are all personal to you and others might not agree with you. A good debater can argue both sides of the argument and espouse BOTH causes convincingly if he/she is in the mood to play devil’s advocate (I also tend to do that in my head as a form of mental stimulation and intellectual exercise). So your opinion and your idea of what is ethical is always a grey area, ok! Your idea of what is right is not objective and not absolute!
But!! What is not grey is the law!
In Malaysia, the law (Section 377 Penal Code) clearly states that homosexuality is wrong regardless of your own personal opinion and your worldview! Until you can change the law, you must abide by it.
Bullying fellow doctors to support homosexuality, making them feel less-of-a-good-and-ethical-doctor by saying things like “As a doctor, we must not discriminate our patients. We must be professional and treat everyone the same. We must be tolerant and do not impose our religious views on others!” is not going to work in Malaysia.
Yes, I treat everyone the same. A gay patient who is depressed will be given the same kind of bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of treatment just like how it is given to a heterosexual patient. So that’s not an issue. I also do not preach or propagate my religious values while I am doing my work as a doctor or as a therapist. I make sure to the best of my ability that my patients are heard when they narrate their issues to me and that they receive the help that they are entitled to without them feeling judged. But that is my professional life!
In my personal life (including in my blog and in my Facebook) I retain my freedom to propagate whatever I wish as long as it is in line with the law of the country. And so far, we haven’t changed the law of the country to accommodate the LGBTQ society like what is happening in the West. So if you propagate for LGBTQ causes in Malaysia, you are actually propagating the committing of crimes!
So don’t you dare to manipulate your fellow Muslim doctors to renounce the tenets of what is wrong and right in their religion by forcing them to agree with the LGBTQ agenda. Muslims CANNOT say homosexuality is right… Muslims may commit homosexuality acts themselves but they themselves would not say those acts are right. Saying something wrong in the religion as right is almost as bad as renouncing the religion. In fact, some ulama are of the opinion that “menghalalkan sesuatu yang diharamkan dalam agama” is already murtad. A Muslim may not wear the hijab, but she would never say “menutup aurat tak wajib” because she knew it would render her murtad. If I go around saying “arak itu halal” or “homoseksual itu tak ada masalah dalam Islam”, it can nullify my status as a Muslim because I had “menghalalkan sesuatu yang jelas haram dalam Islam”! This is serious, ok! You may commit the crime yourself but you cannot say that the crime/sin is allowed in the religion because it will nullify your status as a Muslim.
So jangan harap kamu akan berjaya buat semua Muslims suddenly sokong LGBTQ no matter how hard you propagate. Islam has a fail-safe mechanism in preserving the values of the religion and this mechanism guards us from saying things that are wrong as right when we are under societal pressure to do so. Our religion guards us from bowing to societal pressure by asking us to choose “do you want to please people or do you want to be a Muslim?”. I rather be continuously pressured and looked down upon rather than being a Murtad. Most Muslims also do think like me. So Insya Allah, the majority of Muslims will never wake up suddenly and say “Oh, we approve LGBTQ”! It would stretch my imagination quite a bit to think it might happen in Malaysia en masse. Because if I know anything about Malays and Muslims, they LOVE their religion to death if they are true Muslims who really understand their religion (Sebab tu ada peribahasa “biar mati anak, jangan mati adat”. To the Malays, Islam itu lebih kurang sama macam adat and so intimately intertwined. And this can be problematic sometimes because some Malay’s adats actually have no basis in the religion. It causes misunderstanding about Islam because some idiotic Malay adats are being thought of as stemming from Islam.)
The best thing you can do to manipulate Muslims to support LGBTQ causes is just to shame them into feeling as though they are ‘less professional, less ethical, less good, too judgmental’ as a doctor for not agreeing to your concept of sexual freedom. But most Muslims (kalau mereka ada jati diri yang kukuh) would have stopped caring what you think about them anyway, by now. In fact, maybe like me, they will become so angry by the purposeful attempt to malign their image, that they will start hitting back and counter all your propaganda with their own counter-narrative. We have the weight of religious tradition of multiple religions, biological science and scientific facts to back up our stand that homosexuality is wrong for the society. So be warned. Malaysia still recognizes Islam as Agama Persekutuan and the law is bound to follow the constitution! So pick your battle wisely. (If you notice, I don’t really talk about stuff like this before. But I have started doing it recently when I notice how some non-Muslim doctors are trying to make Muslim doctors feel ‘less than’ just because we do not support LGBTQ. As though religious doctors who do not support LGBTQ are less intelligent, less rational or less ethical than them. I belong in some forums consisting of doctors and I have witnessed what they are saying about Muslim doctors, kononnya religious doctors are “imposing their religious values on their patients”. Heck, doctors are also bound by the law. Don’t you forget it! With the way the political scenario is going in this country, I have had enough of being silent! And I have started hitting back. And once I have decided on a particular cause, you won’t stop me talking (or writing) until I am ready to stop. And I won’t be ready to stop until you too stop propagating your idea of sexual freedom in a Muslim-majority country of Malaysia. We are all bound by the law. Capisce? If I feel the slightest threat to my freedom to propagate for what I believe as right just because I am a doctor or a civil servant, I will start fighting back.)
Civil Servants/ Doctors Cannot Be Political In The Social Media?
Don’t be ridiculous! There are MANY doctors who are political in the social media. I am one of them and I have never hidden that fact. I used to openly state my political views around GE13 while I was still an UMNO supporter. I openly renounced the BN government and openly campaigned for PH around the time of GE 14. I openly announced that I was a PACA (polling agent and counting agent) for Pakatan Harapan in Parlimen Pokok Sena and DUN Bukit Pinang in the last GE14, while BN was still in power. Yes, even though I was a government servant! And when I am upset with the current government now, I also write about it openly in my blog and in my Facebook too. Alhamdulillah, so far I have not been called up to defend my conduct. But if that were to happen, I am ready to defend myself.
I have never hidden the fact that I follow political news and am passionate about politics without being bound by any party. My principles cannot stand being bound to any political party. My support for any party is based on issues that are close to my heart.
And PH had promised freedom of speech and expression! Remember?
So, I really don’t understand it when one particular acquaintance of mine had said “Tak sesuai la letak isu-isu kontroversi kat social media as a doctor. Bukan boleh ubah apa pun! Social media untuk connect with friends and foster good relationship… nanti jadi gaduh pula.”
Oh, God. Have you been living in a cave all these while? Tak boleh ubah apa pun, you said? What do you mean?? The fact that our government had revised their decision to abolish critical allowance for junior doctors was because we made a big issue out of it in the social media. And don’t you forget that! Social media can be a battle ground in and of itself! Whoever propagates strategically and efficiently via the social media would have ensured that half of the battle is won. That is the very reason political parties spend a lot of money hiring cybertroopers! Do you think politicians hire cybertroopers for nothing??
Wake up to the real world, please!
Just because YOU use the social media to post pictures of where you go for vacation or to show off your latest material acquisition or to tell people about your daily life (yang orang tak lah berminat sangat pun nak tau haha), doesn’t mean EVERYONE shares your view that that is the only thing social media is good for. Self-promotion and self-absorption are not exactly attractive attributes, ok?
Some of us use social media MAINLY for propagation and advocacy of the causes we believe in! Some of us do not feel the need for others to validate (by the number of likes) every single mundane, mindless, pathetic thing we do that we posted on the social media. Some of us do not crave the number of likes based on the beauty of the photos that we posted. Furthermore, I certainly do not use social media to connect with friends. With friends, I go out and meet them and talk to them face-to-face or on the phone. That’s how I really form my connection. Social media is not how I maintain my connection to my family and friends.
So really, for me personally, I use social media MAINLY to spread issues and awareness, to propagate, to advocate and also to counter-narrate! And hence, I don’t care if people are butt-hurt by the opinions I have stated on my Facebook as long as I believe I am propagating the right thing and supporting the right causes.
Propagation is dakwah! It is our beloved Prophet’s biggest Sunnah to follow! If you don’t like to do it yourself, that’s ok. You do your own thing. But you don’t get to stop people from propagating what they believe as right just because you don’t have the spine or the courage to do it yourself or because you don’t think social media is a good place to do it. Because you are wrong! Social media is an EXCELLENT place to do it. In fact, I would argue it is the most effective way of doing it in these days and age.
Some people do not live for ‘wake-up, eat, go to work, earn money, sleep and then do it all over again the next day until the day we die’ routine. Some people care about other bigger, more important things that give their lives meaning, okay? So, live and let live. Capisce?
I don’t care what causes you want to propagate in YOUR Facebook page. And you should not stop me from propagating what I want to propagate in MY Facebook page. At the end of the day, may the best propagator win in influencing the lawmakers to create or maintain the laws and policies that will swing in our favour!
Nanti kawan-kawan Cina/India terasa…
The same acquaintance of mine who had admonished me for posting a lot of political issues in the social media had also said “Kawan-kawan kita yang Cina/India terasa. Don’t you care about their feelings?”
Look, in my daily life as a doctor or as a person, I get along well with any race as long as they don’t say or do something that I believe as unfair, unjust or untrue. If they do, I will just work it out with them in a polite discussion. I have always been very outspoken even with my own bosses. If I believe their decision is unfair, I will let them know as politely as possible. It is simply not in my nature to pretend to be okay when I see something is unfair, especially if it affects me as well. (There was one time when the MOs were asked to see all psychiatric referrals even though some of the referrals were not indicated or not urgent .… and we were being paid passive calls only. I voiced out my concerns and said that we have no problems to see all cases but let us claim active calls la… otherwise allow us to stick to passive calls and screen referrals based on urgency. Alhamdulillah my bosses are so nice and they are reasonable people. I am so lucky in my superiors. In other places, what bosses say are regarded as law even if it is unfair. I really detest that kind of bosses and it would trigger my rebellious tendency, LOL. Fairness and justice are my core belief. I don’t let anyone violate it. And I will not passively bow to it without a protest.)
I certainly do have Indians and Chinese colleagues… some of them are pro-vernacular schools. So we simply agree to disagree. I would not feel hurt if they decide to propagate for vernacular schools or to propagate for pro-DAP agendas, or to voice out their support for LGBTQ in their own Facebook page. When they posted such a thing, did they think about my feelings? No! And I don’t expect them to, anyway!
But I also would not stop posting my anti-vernacular school stand in Facebook. I also would not stop posting about the liability of having DAP in any political coalition. I also would not stop posting about my anti-LGBTQ narrative even though I am sure some of my friends in Facebook are part of the LGBTQ community or pro-LGBTQ. And they also should not expect me to think about their feelings while I am doing my own propagating and awareness spreading.
Truth (or what each of us believe as the truth) trump feelings every single time! I don’t expect you to care about my feelings when you are propagating what you believe as true. And I also wish you would understand that I have my own version of truth that I am going to continue to propagate regardless of your feelings about it. No offence, ok?
If you don’t allow our differences in opinion to affect our friendship or our working relationship, it shouldn’t be an issue. We can always continue as usual… politely and professionally go about our daily life. But if you are going to make our differences as a problem in our relationship, then it is on you. Because I personally can work with or talk to anyone I disagree with if my work requires it, but I will not stop the propagation of my causes.
Know that every narration has a counter-narration. Know that every propaganda has a counter-propaganda. Sometimes the side that ends up winning the battle is not the side of the truth. And therefore, if you believe you are on the side of the truth, the onus is on you to speak up and propagate for your own agenda.
I have said it before, an agenda is won when we can cause the law to swing in our favour. Because regardless of your religion, your worldview or your personal opinion, people don’t have to follow them UNTIL it is made as law! The law is the ultimate recognition of the truth as it is accepted in your country (but not necessarily in other countries. So you have the options of migrating to other countries if you want to escape the law of your own country, ok?) The law is made in the parliament. The lawmakers in the parliament (our politicians) listen to what is popular. That’s why if we want our causes to win, we have to propagate just as diligently and as loudly as the other party! Otherwise, we would lose. And what a shame to lose if we are on the right side. In the West the LGBTQ propagation has won and the law has changed in their favour. If we are not careful, the same thing can happen in Malaysia too. All of us have a part to play in making sure this will never happen.
This is why Islam made it compulsory for us to do whatever we can in our capacity to right a wrong, as evidenced by the hadeeth below:
“Sesiapa dikalangan kamu yang melihat kemungkaran maka hendaklah dia mencegah dengan tangannya, sekiranya dia tidak mampu hendaklah dia menegah dengan lidahnya, sekiranya dia tidak mampu maka dengan hatinya. Dan itulah selemah-lemah iman.”
So what Muslims have to do now is simply not to fear “celaan orang-orang yang mencela,” and keep on propagating! That’s what we have to do!
Say what you believe as right and stop caring how other people are trying to emotionally manipulate or guilt you into agreeing to their concept of freedom and worldview. Insya Allah, that kind of emotional manipulation will never work on me. Because whenever I experience cognitive dissonance, I reserve my judgment, I research and I read up until I am satisfied. Only reasons, rationale and truth would win me over. Not any emotional manipulation or inducement of guilt that are based on paltry sentiments! That NEVER work with me! In fact, it would make me so annoyed that you had tried to manipulate me emotionally that I will fight even more (Haha…. agreeableness is never part of my personality strength, unfortunately).
And speaking of reserving judgment, researching and reading… this brings me to the next section of this blog; the books of the month section. (Because reading is one of the best things you can do to nourish your mind, no?)
Books of The Month
The month of February has been so busy for me that I was only able to finish two books in the entire month; one fiction and one non-fiction.
The first book that I read this month was The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly who is one of my favourite legal-fiction author. (I like his works much more than I like John Grisham, and I like Grisham quite a lot. So that might give you some idea of how much I regard Michael Connelly as an author.)
Synopsis of the Fifth Witness:
Mickey Haller is a criminal defense lawyer who, due to lack of business, had to turn to handling foreclosure cases in order to get some income. But his real passion has always been criminal defense. As fate would have it, one of his foreclosure case clients, Lisa Trammel, was accused of murdering the banker who was involved in the foreclosure of her house. So the mystery revolves around whether Lisa Trammel was guilty. The book also went into very good and detailed explanation of Mickey Haller’s defense strategy. We were also given some insights on the relationship between lawyers and prosecutors inside and outside the courtroom. If you do not know much about court procedures (well, the ones in the US at least), you will have a rough idea by the time you finish this book (or any Michael Connelly book that features Mickey Haller as the protagonist).
What I like about his books is that they are always full of great courtroom scenes. Just when you think the protagonist lawyer might lose the case, something unexpected happens, LOL. The plot twist and turns are always engaging too. Some of the dialogues are funny and I laughed out loud a few times. So, yeah, if you are interested in fiction based on law/legal issues, please do check out Michael Connelly.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars (which is really good by my standard. The only reason I don’t give 5 stars is just because I have given 5 stars to The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini before, and so far not many books have come close to make me feel what I felt while reading The Kite Runner. So yeah, please do read The Kite Runner as well, LOL).
The next book I would like to promote is by Hamza Andreas Tzortsis, published in 2016 by the title of The Divine Reality: God, Islam and The Mirage of Atheism. This book was written to deconstruct atheism and provide a compelling case for the rational and spiritual foundations of Islam.
If you are a student of Theology, you should read this book. It teaches you the philosophical aspect of learning how to think about materialism and metaphysical knowledge. In this book, you will learn why atheism has a lot of contradictions and has very weak foundation philosophically, scientifically, intuitively and rationally. It will blow your mind.
Some of the questions that this book tries to answer are:
- Does hope, happiness, and human value make sense without the divine?
- Do we have an ultimate purpose?
- Can we have consciousness and rational minds without God?
- Did the universe come from nothing?
- Does evil and suffering negate Divine mercy?
- Has scientific progress led to the denial of God
- Are revelation and prophethood myths?
- Is God worthy of our worship?
Interesting questions, don’t you think? I certainly did enjoy reading some of the philosophical concept I didn’t know exists. Some of the thought-provoking concepts are:
- Occam’s razor: a philosophical principle that basically says the simplest and most comprehensive explanation is the best one.
- The question of: Is something morally good because God commands it; or does God command it because it is morally good?
- The concept that ‘science is forced to restrict its attention to problems that observation can solve’. But there are a lot of questions that observation alone cannot solve, right? Things that are not observable…. how do you make sense of them without science?
- What are the criteria for truth to be called as self-evident? If someone says to you that the past doesn’t exist and asks you to prove that the past exists…. is that rational? Or because the existence of the past is self-evident, therefore the more rational thing to do is to question the questioner “what evidence do you have to prove that the past doesn’t exist?” (Basically, when someone questions a self-evident truth, the onus lies on the questioner to come up with reasons for rejecting something that is self-evident. For example if I question the fact that someone must have written this blog post and I argue that this post was just there and no one had actually written this post… I must provide my reasoning why I believe this blog post was not written by anyone and it just happens to be. Because it is self-evident truth that someone must have written this blog post and uploaded it on wordpress. There are other more complicated arguments in this book, but you must read it yourself to appreciate it better)
- The concept of Solipsism – that you can only be certain that your mind exists. Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. (Can you imagine how a Schizophrenia patient in the midst of a hallucination would feel… knowing for sure that the voices are real… but actually only in their minds that those experiences are real. They cannot know whether or not things are real or not real… until someone told them it actually wasn’t real. But what if that someone was also wrong?) Interesting, isn’t it?
So, I give this book 4 out of 5 as well. And I highly recommend this book for all Muslims and non-Muslims who are seeking for knowledge of the big questions in life.
Unfortunately, this book is not sold in Malaysia and I had to order it online via Book Depository (free shipping, ok!). And seriously, it was worth the money spent and worth the agony of having to wait for the arrival of the book all the way from the UK (almost one month waiting time, guys).
The price of the book is MYR69.13. Not too bad for a 332 pages book (The actual content of the book is only 301 pages. The rest consists of bibliography and references.)
Before I end this post, I will just discuss a little bit on the author of this distinguished book. Hamza Tzortzis has a Master in Philosophy and currently pursuing his doctorate in Philosophy as well. He is also a student of Theology and a renowned public speaker and writer. You can find a lot of videos of his talks in You Tube as well. I have watched many of his videos and he is a very good, rational, and convincing speaker. So do check him out on You Tube before you decide for yourself if his style of reasoning is much to your liking. If you like his speeches, chances are you will like his book too.
Until next time, my dear readers. Much love and may Allah bless all of us.