BANGI: Students at a “muhibbah” camp here have urged political leaders not to destroy the nation’s harmony, saying they did not want Malaysians to be mired in racial and religious rhetoric.
Aden Tan Shen Yeh, 17, said that Malaysians, after 62 years of independence, should learn to accept and respect the diversity of the country as that formed the nation’s identity in the eyes of the world.
“Malaysia is composed of people of various religions and races, so no one should be labelled with terms that carry certain perceptions. To me, this has been our biggest problem since independence. I really hope that, in the future, Malaysians can handle this problem and become better citizens,” he told FMT.
Tan was a participant of the 2019 Muhibbah Camp held in Sungai Ramal.
A student at a private school, he admitted feeling awkward and nervous when socialising with peers of a different race and religion, adding that he worried he would not be accepted by them.
“I voluntarily got involved in this Muhibbah Camp. Here, I learnt a few words in Jawi, Arab and Tamil. It’s an interesting experience for me because I am out of my comfort zone.”
He said he would not want to see a repeat of the riots of May 13, 1969; it was enough for that dark time to remain as part of the nation’s history and as a lesson for the young generation.
Another participant, Hanis Naqeebah Hasri, 15, said national leaders should serve the country for the benefit of all, and not just champion the rights of one race.
Hanis, a student at a religious school, told FMT that political leaders should not fight among themselves nor raise sensitive issues.
“We live in the same land, we sing the same Negaraku, so work for all Malaysians.
“I never had Chinese or Indian friends. It’s fun for me here because I get to exchange knowledge and share experiences with my other friends. I’m still new in getting to know the other Malaysian communities,” he said.
Hanis’s views were echoed by Vijay Rajah, 16, a student at a vocational college in Perak, who said Malaysia would be “lonely” if it was only inhabited by one race.
“My parents themselves agreed with my wish to join this camp, to mix with friends from other races and religions. I don’t want Malaysians to fight; be friendly, take care of the country’s peace.”
At a separate function today, Federal Territories minister Khalid Samad and deputy minister for Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh disputed claims about increasing racial and religious tensions under the Pakatan Harapan government
They said the claims were mere opposition ploys to create discord, with Yeoh adding that talk about racial tensions was overstated and “very exaggerated”.
The Muhibbah Camp was organised by Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) and the Chinese educationist group Dong Zong, two organisations who have often spoken out about issues related to the Malay and Chinese communities.
The three-day camp involves about 80 students from schools around the Klang Valley and is the first to be jointly organised by the two organisations.
Dong Zong committee member Low Chee Chong said national unity should not continue to be perceived as an abstract concept, but should require action to preserve Malaysia’s unique character.
“It gives a chance to the young generation to enjoy our cultural diversity and also to have an awareness to get rid of the mindset of stereotypes and discrimination based on race.
“United we stand, divided we fall,” he added.
Selangor state executive councillor Ng Sze Han said the lack of interaction between people of different races, because of community environment, had led to an increase in distrust among one another.
“An example is the controversy about Jawi calligraphy. This issue has two very different perspectives. For the Malay community, they see that there’s no harm in learning it. For the non-Malay community, however, they assume that Jawi writing is part of an Islamisation process.
“This issue arose because there’s no trust between people of different races — one of the greatest challenges in the new Malaysia. So this camp is very important to prepare a platform for the young generation to have a tolerant attitude,” he said. (Free Malaysia Today)
GREEN COMMITMENTS: ABIM’S PRINCIPLES FOR GREEN POLICY AND ECO-FRIENDLY EVENTS
#SDG 8, #SDG12, #SDG 13, #SDG 14, SDG 15
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.”
As a translation of our love to all living beings, and in fulfilling our trust as the Caliph of God to preserve the nature, any actions that we undertake must be sustainable in nature.
1) Setting a goal to achieve Zero Waste by adopting the 6 R culture to:-
a- Rethink (thinking the effect of usage of things to the environment)
b- Refuse (refusing to use products which are not suitable & sustainable)
c- Reduce (cutting back on the amount of trash we make)
d- Reuse/repair (finding a new way to use trash so that we don't have to throw it out/fix items if they are torn or broken)
e- Recycle (using trash to remake new goods that can be sold again)
f- Replace/rebuy (replacing items with new, green products)
2) Always saving energy, water and other resources in organizing programs and for the operations of ABIM offices.
3) Reducing the emissions of carbon monoxide, smoke, toxins by sharing vehicles & using public transports during organisation of ABIM’s events.
4) Giving priority to biodegradable materials and reducing the use of non-ecological friendly materials such as plastics, straws, polystyrene and others in all activities organized by ABIM and in daily operations of ABIM Secretariat.
5) Partnership with eco-friendly suppliers and giving priority to environmentally friendly products recognized by accredited bodies.
These Green Commitments and principles for green policy and eco-friendly events apply to all members in organizing activities or programs of ABIM and to all institutions and agencies owned by ABIM.
Filing Case Against Myanmar: ABIM Urges United Nations And International Organisations To Confer Special Awards For Humanity To Gambia
MUSLIM YOUTH MOVEMENT MALAYSIA (ABIM)
19TH NOVEMBER 2019/ 22 RABIUL AWWAL 1441 H
FILING CASE AGAINST MYANMAR: ABIM URGES UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS TO CONFER SPECIAL AWARDS FOR HUMANITY TO GAMBIA
Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (ABIM) states its full support to the legal demands filed by Gambia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in relation to the series of massive massacre of the Rohingya ethnic group by Myanmar regime without heeding human rights.
According to the report, Justice Minister, Abubacarr Tambadou said, the country took action on behalf of 57 countries of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to bring Yangon to the international court at the Hague.
ABIM stresses that the action is significant to put a pressure on Myanmar since only a state (not individual) can file a case against another state in the ICJ. Besides, Gambia and Myanmar both are signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention that demands both nations to put a stop to any genocidal actions.
Hence, ABIM urges the United Nations (UN) and international organizations to confer a special award for humanity to Gambia for its bravery and bold action to take a legal action in defending the rights of the Rohingya ethnic group.
ABIM also views that the action should be a ‘wake up call’ for all other nations of the world to stand up against the atrocities committed by Myanmar by fully utilizing all international channels.
ABIM also reiterates its demand to urge the Malaysian government and all ASEAN countries to review the membership of Myanmar in ASEAN given that the persecution committed by the Myanmar government clearly contradicts with the principles and cultures of people in this region.
Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz
Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (ABIM)
MUSLIM YOUTH MOVEMENT MALAYSIA (ABIM)
ABIM CONDEMNS DEATH SENTENCE AGAINST A T M AZHARUL ISLAM
5TH NOVEMBER 2019 / 8 Rabiul Awwal 1441 H
Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (ABIM) condemns the decision of the Bangladeshi Supreme Court to uphold the death sentence against the top Islamist leader of Jamaat-e-Islami for the war crime charges.
ABIM firmly views that the sentence is a continuation of series of heavy persecution by the authorities towards the Islamic group since Prime Minister Hasina Wajed took office in 2009.
ABIM reiterates that the controversial International Crimes Tribunal set up by the government in 2010, purportedly to punish those who were involved in war crime in 1971 is contrary to the spirit of justice, equality and rule of law. In fact, the tribunal which has sentenced dozens of people to death including five Jamaat leaders on war crime charges has also been criticized by international communities.
Besides, Human Rights Watch in 2016 repeated its longstanding call for Bangladesh to impose an immediate moratorium on the death penalty under the controversial tribunal.
Thus, ABIM urges the Bangladeshi government to take effective measures immediately to stop all political repression, to restore fundamental human rights of all citizens and to free all detained Jamaat-Shibir leaders unconditionally and abrogate the oxymoronic tribunal at all costs.
ABIM and all international communities have been closely observing the political and human rights situations in Bangladesh that reflect a drastic and systematic curtailment of civil and democratic rights. The continuous repression and persecution will only render Bangladesh’s international reputation to tarnish.
Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz
Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (ABIM)
Could movements like Abim and Ikram be the key to Malaysian unity?
IT’S probably a safe bet to say anywhere from 50% to 90% of non-Malays have either never heard of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) or Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (Ikram), or are generally unfamiliar with what they stand for.
Both organisations have some roots in the Islamic revivalism that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s
Abim is a youth based organisation established in 1971. PKR president Anwar Ibrahim is perhaps the most well known of the many figures that have emerged from the ranks of Abim, which was the platform that arguably launched his public profile as a leader.
Ikram is a consolidation of education and humanitarian NGOs that began with and were affiliated with Jamaah Islah Malaysia, which was established in 1990 and streamlined into Ikram in 2009.
Both Abim and Ikram share a number of similarities. Both were established to promote Islamic revivalism, and both have a strong, active grassroots network engaged in improving the day to day lives of Malaysians on the ground.
Perhaps most importantly, both have publicly and consistently been taking moderate, progressive positions.
Being part of a number of non-Malay/Muslim WhatsApp groups, I remain completely convinced that Islamaphobia is a very real thing. Similarly, my Malay Muslim friends tell me that they receive similar anti non-Malay/Muslim content all the time. This is all part of a global trend of increasing xenophobia all around.
On the subject of increasing Islamisation in Malaysia, I take the likely unpopular view (for people of my background anyway), that the more genuinely Islamic our government, the better.
I feel there is little value in dressing up our institutions with the outward trappings of religion, unless it is accompanied by the true values and principles that said religion preaches.
In that vein, I feel that the more genuinely Muslim a leader is, the more likely that leader will walk the straight and narrow path of integrity.
I would be more than happy with a staunch and pious Muslim at the helm of a government, because such a leader fears God above all else.
Fearing God means that a truly Muslim leader would be truly convinced that he or she is being constantly watched and judged at every second by an omniscient and omnipotent divine being, and is constantly conscious that the fires of hell (literally) await those who betray the trust of the people.
There is no bigger incentive that the rest of us, as mere mortals, can give to such a leader in order to ensure honest and compassionate governance.
If we can therefore accept that the proliferation of genuine Islamic values and principles could be a positive thing for the government and for Malaysia, perhaps we are step closer to being more open minded about movements that some would label “Islamist”, including organisations like Abim and Ikram.
By now, we are all too familiar with the somewhat more divisive and exclusionist narratives of Isma, Umno, and today’s PAS, among others.
Those few who take the opportunity to actually listen to the things that Abim and Ikram say (and to Malays notably, not just to non-Malay crowds) may be surprised to find a completely different narrative emerging from these two Islamist movements.
From Ikram, I recall in particular statements about the recognition of the UEC, and the buy Muslim first campaign.
The official statement on the UEC reflected serious efforts to reach out to Chinese educationists in order to understand the UEC from head to toe before making wild and inflammatory statements. It was ultimately more balanced, and more reconciliatory than almost anything I have seen emerge from a Malay majority organisation.
With regards to the buy Muslim first campaign, Ikram Youth leader Hafiz Abd Hamid wrote that that buying Muslim first was fine, but that boycotting products from other races and religions was something that was negative and ultimately unhelpful to Malaysia on multiple levels.
Abim took a similar position, stating that they support buying Muslim products, but were against boycotting non-Muslim products.
In the aftermath of the Icerd fiasco, then Abim secretary general Faisal Aziz (now Abim president) took the more middle ground position that despite rejecting Icerd, the government should incorporate some elements from Icerd into a new law against discrimination that were in line with the Federal Constitution.
Where outreach is concerned, Ikram is a key member of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM), a unique coalition consisting of NGOs that represent a wide range of communities on the ethnoreligious spectrum. This is in line with Ikram’s emphasis on the concept of Negara Rahmah - a nation based on compassion and benevolence.
Abim meanwhile organised a large event in Bangi last week, called Seminar Bangsa Malaysia. The term ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ is itself controversial in the Malay community. Many might say that the concept represents an erosion of ‘Bangsa Melayu’.
Nonetheless, Abim forged bravely ahead. Listening to the speeches of their leaders all morning that Saturday, it was clear that their approach to Islam and leadership was one that emphasised the spirit of inclusiveness and openness towards non-Malays and non-Muslims.
Alongside recognising and being committed to defending all existing provisions regarding Islam and the Malays, this approach recognised the contributions of non-Malays and stated clearly a willingness to work together not for the benefit or detriment of any one race, but for the betterment of all.
Both Abim and Ikram have taken very clear and public (if not always well publicised) positions that emphasise a rejection of the politics of division, in lieu of a recognition that we are all in the same boat, and need to find a way to replace mistrust with empathy and mutual understanding.
On a more practical level, the significance of this is the demographic that these organisations represent.
We have seen more than a handful of very liberal and progressive Malays, whose aggressive and bold positions have made them the darlings of non-Malays throughout the country.
The only “problem” is, such figures (while undoubtedly true Malays, and very nice people) seldom represent or appeal to the wider Malay demographic – and certainly nowhere on the scale at which grassroots organisations like Abim and Ikram do.
This makes them uniquely positioned to provide an important contrasting narrative to the one in which ultras on both side of the divide seem intent on fanning flames and letting the social fabric of Malaysia burn down all around us.
God knows we’ve had enough of that. It’s time for leaders with credible credentials and values steeped in compassion and mutual respect to come to the fore.