December 7th, 2013

Kehilangan Mandela tidak kurangkan pengaruhnya

PEMERGIAN pemimpin dunia, Nelson Mandela pada usia 95 tahun merupakan satu kehilangan besar dalam sejarah moden kemanusiaan.

Sebagai individu yang bertanggungjawab memperjuangkan tentangan terhadap dasar aparteid, jasa beliau terlalu besar, malah tidak keterlaluan jika dikatakan bekas Presiden Afrika Selatan itu telah berjaya mengubah sejarah dunia.

Mandela menghabiskan satu pertiga daripada hayatnya di penjara, antaranya kerana kesalahan 'mengkhianati' kerajaan pada tahun 1950-an dan 1964, serta 'menghasut' mogok dan meninggalkan negara secara haram pada 1962.

Ketika dihadapkan ke mahkamah pada tahun 1962, beliau pernah berkata: "Sepanjang hidup saya, saya abadikan diri saya kepada perjuangan membantu rakyat Afrika. Saya menentang penguasaan kaum kulit putih dan juga kulit hitam. Saya mengangkat cita-cita kehidupan demokrasi dan masyarakat bebas yang harmoni dengan peluang sama rata. Itu adalah impian saya. Saya juga sanggup mati demi perjuangan ini."

Pada 11 Februari 1990, beliau akhirnya 'menanggalkan' pakaian banduan bernombor 46664 dan dibebaskan selepas 27 tahun menjalani hukuman penjara, disambut sorakan seluruh dunia yang menanti-nantikan pembebasannya.

Perjuangan Mandela menentang dasar aparteid iaitu undang-undang yang membezakan kedudukan antara masyarakat kulit putih dan hitam di Afrika Selatan bermula pada 1948 hingga 1991.


NELSON Mandela bergambar kenangan bersama Jurulatih Ragbi Afrika Selatan (kiri),   Jake White dan kapten pasukan, John Smith (kanan) memegang Piala William Web Ellis di Yayasan Mandela, Johannesburg, ketika meraikan pasukan ragbi negara itu muncul juara dalam Piala Dunia Ragbi 2007 di Perancis. - AFP
Menerusi badan yang menentang aparteid termasuk Kongres Kebangsaan Afrika (ANC) yang dianggotainya, Mandela lantang memperjuangkan hak masyarakat kulit hitam Afrika Selatan yang sering dinafikan termasuk dalam soal pendidikan, sosial dan politik.

Cabaran didepaninya dalam memperjuangkan nasib masyarakat kulit hitam akhirnya berbaloi apabila beliau dilantik sebagai Presiden kulit hitam pertama Afrika Selatan selepas memenangi Pilihan Raya Umum 1994, tahun yang dianggap sebagai pengakhiran kepada aparteid.

Peranan Mandela dalam menamatkan dasar aparteid juga boleh disamakan dengan perjuangan idolanya iaitu aktivis hak asasi Amerika, Martin Luther King Jr. dan pemimpin kemerdekaan India, Mohandas K. Gandhi.

Mandela yang turut dikenali dengan nama 'Madiba' juga sering dipandang sebagai seorang tokoh yang merendah diri dan pemaaf.

Beliau pernah menikmati makan tengah hari bersama pendakwa raya yang suatu ketika dulu bertanggungjawab menyebabkannya meringkuk dalam penjara.

Beliau juga pernah mengembara beribu- ribu kilometer jauhnya semata-mata bagi menghadiri majlis minum petang bersama balu kepada Perdana Menteri Afrika Selatan, Hendrik Verwoerd, yang memerintah sewaktu beliau dipenjarakan.

Ketika dipenjarakan, hak Mandela pernah dinafikan antaranya beliau tidak dibenarkan menghadiri upacara pengkebumian ibunya serta anak lelakinya yang maut dalam satu nahas jalan raya.

Sikap pemaaf itu membuatkan Mandela disenangi dan dianggap sebagai individu yang tiada galang gantinya.

Di sebalik sifat pemaafnya, ikon demokrasi itu juga ada ketikanya lantang dalam menyuarakan pendapat.

Ketika pencerobohan Amerika Syarikat (AS) terhadap Iraq pada 2003, beliau dengan keras mengkritik Presiden George W. Bush ketika itu dengan menyatakan: "Mengapa AS terlalu bongkak? Apa yang Bush mahu di Iraq adalah minyak."

Beliau ketika itu turut melabel Bush dan Perdana Menteri Britain, Tony Blair sebagai rasis selain menyatakan AS telah melakukan kekejaman yang tidak dapat diterjemahkan dan tidak mempunyai pendirian moral.

Selain itu, Mandela turut dikenali sebagai pemimpin yang gemar berjenaka. Ketika mengumumkan tidak akan mempertahankan jawatan Presiden pada tahun 1999, beliau pernah berkata: "Saya perlu meletak jawatan ketika masih ada orang sukakan saya."

Selepas meletakkan jawatan, beliau pernah berkata bahawa beliau akan berdiri di tepi jalan sambil menggantung papan tanda di leher yang tertulis 'Saya kehilangan kerja, kini menganggur. Ada isteri baharu dan perlu menanggung keluarga yang besar'.

Mandela kemudian aktif menjalankan kerja-kerja kemanusiaan antaranya kempen membanteras AIDS terutamanya selepas anak lelaki beliau, Makgatho meninggal dunia akibat penyakit tersebut.

Kali terakhir beliau muncul di khalayak ramai adalah ketika Afrika Selatan menjadi tuan rumah bagi Kejohanan Piala Dunia 2010. Pemilihan negara itu menganjurkan acara sukan berprestij dunia, secara tidak langsung menonjolkan benua Afrika di mata dunia.

Beliau menghabiskan sisa hidupnya di hospital apabila didiagnos menghidap masalah pernafasan dan jangkitan paru-paru yang berpunca daripada penyakit batuk kering yang dialami ketika dipenjara.

Kehilangan pemimpin berjiwa besar seperti Mandela tidak sedikit pun mengurangkan pengaruhnya di mata dunia, bahkan pemergiannya diangkat sebagai wira kerana berjaya mengubah status sebuah negara yang dahulunya berpecah belah kepada sebuah negara yang kini boleh dicontohi.



Shamsiah Zulkafli Utusan Malaysia Online Rencana 20131207

Nelson Mandela in his own words

(Reuters) - Following are notable quotations by former South African President Nelson Mandela.

"For my own part I have made my choice. I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days." - ANC press statement, June 26, 1961

- - - -

"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.

"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.

"It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, my lord, if needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." - speech at treason trial, April 20, 1964

- - - -

"I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands." - on release from prison, February 11, 1990

- - - -

"It will forever remain an indelible blight on human history that the apartheid crime ever occurred. Future generations will surely ask: What error was made that this system established itself in the wake of the adoption of a universal declaration of human rights?

"It will forever remain an accusation and a challenge to all men and women of conscience that it took as long as it has before all of us stood up to say 'enough is enough'." - to U.N. Special Committee against Apartheid, June 22, 1990

- - - -

"The time for the healing of the wounds has come ... the moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us." - on inauguration as President of South Africa, May 10, 1994

- - - -

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." - from his 1994 autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom"

"It would be a cruel irony of history if Africa's actions to regenerate the continent were to unleash a new scramble for Africa which, like that of the nineteenth century, plundered the continent's wealth and left it once more the poorer." - to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, July 11, 1997

- - - -

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that determines the significance of the life we lead." - on the 90th birthday of Walter Sisulu, May 18, 2002

- - - -

"I think the United States has become drunk with power" - from documentary "Mandela: The Living Legend", 2003

- - - -

"We live in a world where knowledge and information have made enormous strides, yet millions of children are not in school. We live in a world where the AIDS pandemic threatens the very fabric of our lives.

"Yet we spend more money on weapons than on ensuring treatment and support for the millions infected by HIV. It is a world of great promise and hope. It is also a world of despair, disease and hunger." - at Live 8 concert in Johannesburg, July 2, 2005

- - - -

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is people who have made poverty and tolerated poverty, and it is people who will overcome it." - on being named Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience, 2006

- - - -

"On my last day I want to know that those who remain behind will say: ‘The man who lies here has done his duty for his country and his people'." - 1999

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

The STAR Online News 06/12/2013

Do we want Malaysia to be seen as promoting plagiarism?

PETALING JAYA: To quote Dr Lim Teck Ghee of Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI): “Firstly, within academia, there are few worse sins than plagiarism. The term “sin” may appear to be too strong but Ridhuan Tee (Abdullah) who, regularly from his Utusan Malaysia pulpit, dishes out his pseudo-intellectual views on developments in the country from a supposedly Islamic perspective probably will understand better the use of this term in the context of the wrongdoing he is alleged to have committed. Or then again, perhaps he does not.”

It means plagiarism does not only bring shame to an accused but also to his or her institution of higher learning and country.

However, in Bolehland Malaysia, upholding integrity and credibility is almost not always top priority. Unfortunately, it is the political agenda and patronage that matters most.

When accusations of plagiarism arise, the normal course of action by the authorities is to conduct an investigation to clear or punish the academic who allegedly committed the “sin”.

On March 1, 2013, Ridhuan was accused of plagiarising Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UPM) lecturer Dr Airil Yasreen Mohd Yassin’s work.

Ridhuan may be innocent but instead of addressing the issue and clearing his name, the National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM), where Ridhuan is attached to, appeared to have swept the matter under the rug.

Instead, UPNM promoted Ridhuan, much to the chagrin of other lecturers.

Former deputy higher education minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said: “It is in the best interest of UPNM to take prompt action and conduct an investigation on the allegations, especially since the matter was raised in Parliament.

“When I was deputy minister, there was one plagiarism case involving one lecturer in another public university.

“When this was highlighted, the university took prompt action and an investigation was conducted. The lecturer was reprimanded and some kind of disciplinary action was taken.

“The best thing to do would be for the particular university (UPNM) to do what this university did. When plagiarism is raised, especially in Parliament, we should take it seriously.”

Saifuddin told theantdaily the whole matter should also be carried out transparently.

“In that university, the fact that action was taken against the lecturer was in the public domain.

“A university’s credibility is at stake. That is why that university did the right thing. They knew their credibility was at stake and that they needed to act quickly to clarify matters,” he said.

In Ridhuan’s case, who is a columnist for Umno’s mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia, he just responded by saying his critics were out to “character assassinate” him.

DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok had alleged that Ridhuan copied almost the whole article by Airil “including the grammar mistakes in the original article, without any attribution to the writer”.

It was reported that a former colleague of Ridhuan’s, Senator Dr Ariffin S M Omar, had claimed that the former was promoted despite being plagued by plagiarism accusations.

“An investigation was launched but the vice-chancellor and the deputy vice-chancellor of academics at that time did not take any action against Ridhuan and, instead, he was promoted,” Dr Ariffin was quoted as saying.

The paragraphs Ridhuan is alleged to have copied were said to have been originally written by Airil for his research paper and uploaded on to his blog on May 25, 2009.

Ridhuan is alleged to have plagiarised Airils’ work for the Grade DS51 Efficiency Level Assessment (PTK4) coursework conducted from May to June 2010.

A former academician, who declined to be named, said plagiarism was something that is extremely difficult to prove.

“For example, there are a lot of general comments such as, ‘Malaysia achieved independence in 1957’. That exact sentence could have been quoted somewhere else,” he said.

However, he said that it was time for the Malaysian mindset to change and for issues such as plagiarism to be given serious attention.

“There are a few things Malaysians as a whole do not find disgusting. We don’t throw up over things like plagiarism and corruption but we are disgusted over things such as deviant teachings and drugs. Why can’t we be disgusted with things like this? This disgust must be created (forged).

“Plagiarism is something that we have not given serious ethical attention to,” he said.

After all, do we want Malaysia to be known as a place where plagiarism is rewarded?