December 22nd, 2014

Antara pemimpin, memimpin 
dan kepemimpinan

KERAPKALI terdapat perbincangan tentang soal kepimpinan dalam pelbagai sektor dan bidang sama ada politik, swasta, organisasi atau pun dalam masyarakat amnya.


Setiap perbincangan pasti berkisar pada isu-isu ja­watan atau kedudukan, seperti pemimpin-pemimpin dalam parti-parti politik, ketua-ketua eksekutif syarikat-syarikat dan pemimpin dalam mana-mana organisasi seperti yang berkaitan sukan, belia atau seumpamanya.

Dan pasti yang menjadi tumpuan adalah jawatan yang terlibat kerana yang lazim dikaitkan dengan pemimpin adalah jawatan. Secara nyata perkara ini sememangnya betul kerana masyarakat pasti mengaitkan pemimpin de­ngan jawatan yang diduduki seseorang itu.

Sebenarnya yang lebih penting adalah kepimpinan seseorang itu untuk melayakkannya diiktiraf, diterima dan dihormati sebagai pemimpin. Kepimpinan wajar dinilai dari beberapa aspek termasuk ciri-ciri keperibadian seseorang individu yang merupakan kualiti-kualiti asas yang membolehkannya memberi kepemimpinan positif kepada kumpulan yang dipimpinnya, antara lain seperti:-

* Amanah dan integriti serta kejujuran yang mana boleh menentukan arah haluan kepimpinan, terutama dalam membuat keputusan dan memikul tanggungjawab.

* Sikap adil dan saksama dan sentiasa objektif dalam setiap pertimbangan dan tidak diskriminasi, berat sebelah atau subjektif. Dan mementingkan apa yang betul bukan apa yang dianggap `baik’ oleh mana-mana pihak. Ini bererti kebijaksanaan menilai antara apa yang betul dan yang tidak.

* Berdisiplin dalam tindakan serta mampu menggembleng komitmen dan keazaman kumpulan atau pasukan yang dipimpinnya. Disiplin termasuk disiplin mengurus masa yang terhad, mengurus pelbagai isu dan agenda yang perlu ditangani serta disiplin membuat keputusan supaya benar-benar diteliti buruk baiknya secara mendalam.

* Mempunyai pandangan jauh dan berupaya mendorong serta mendatangkan perubahan dan inovasi untuk pencapaian yang berterusan. Ini bererti tidak dikongkong oleh kelaziman-kelaziman lama yang menghalang kemajuan atau pun disekat oleh anggapan dan pandangan-pandangan lama yang tidak lagi relevan dan sesuai.

* Mempunyai minda yang terbuka yang mampu memikirkan dan menilai, perkara-perkara baharu yang membawa pelbagai kesan dan pengaruh; iaitu tidak dikongkong oleh keusangan minda yang enggan menerima perubahan dan pembaharuan dan bergerak balas kepadanya. Atau pun minda yang enggan melihat opsyen lain dan baharu, serta pilihan-pilihan lain yang lebih baik, serta dibelenggu oleh pegangan-pegangan pendapat yang sebati dengannya.

* Menghayati bahawa memimpin membawa tanggungjawab berat dan sedia atau sanggup menerima segala risiko dan kesan yang berkait dengan bertindak sebagai pemimpin. Ini bererti ia sanggup menerima akibat daripada keputusan-keputusan dan tindakan yang diambil dan dibuat, dan tidak memindahkan tanggungjawab itu kepada orang lain untuk menanggung akibatnya. Buruk atau baik kesan dan padahnya, mesti dipikul oleh mereka yang memimpin.

Jelas bahawa me­mimpin bukan semata-mata memegang peranan atau menduduki tempat dan kerusi pemimpin, tetapi ia bererti me­laksana dengan sebaik mungkin, apa jua yang mesti dilakukan oleh seseorang itu sebagai orang yang memimpin. Dan dengan itu, prestasi dan hasil ke­pimpinan seseorang itu sangat penting menjadi ukuran dan tanda aras kepimpinan.

Dalam persekitaran yang sentiasa dinamik dan berubah, ukuran kepimpinan dalam apa jua organisasi atau bidang adalah kebolehan dan kemampuan menangani serta mengurus perubahan. Iaitu bagaimana ia mengenalpasti perubahan-perubahan, merangka strategi menangani perubahan dan melaksana langkah-langkah yang wajar dan diperlukan untuk berjaya menghadapi apa jua perubahan yang berlaku dalam persekitaran.

Yang sangat penting setiap daripada kita adalah pemimpin dalam lingkaran atau kumpulan masing-masing contohnya :-

* Ibu bapa dalam keluarga, mereka mesti memimpin dengan penuh keupayaan dan rasa tanggungjawab dan komitmen. Bukan hanya merupakan ibu bapa, tetapi, tugas-tugas ibu bapa diserahkan kepada penjaga anak, pe­ngasuh dan kepada guru-guru dan sekolah.

* Eksekutif-ekskutif dalam syarikat-syarikat mereka mesti memimpin dengan cekap supaya syarikat mampu mencapai sasaran dan matlamatnya. Begitu juga ketua-ketua dalam setiap bahagian syarikat, seperti ketua di bahagian operasi, kewangan, sekuriti dan keselamatan, pemasaran dan tenaga pekerja mereka setiap seorang itu memimpin kumpulan masing-masing.

* Ketua-ketua dalam setiap peringkat atau bahagian organisasi masing-masing mengetuai kumpulan-kumpulan yang setiap satu akan menyumbang kepada kejayaan atau kegagalan, organisasi, contohnya badan-badan politik, NGO, dan pertubuhan-pertubuhan lain.

Setiap yang berperanan sebagai ketua wajib memberi kepimpinan yang positif dan yang menambah nilai dan membawa kemajuan dan kemajuan yang diperlukan. Selagi seseorang itu belum menunjukkan ciri-ciri pe­mimpin, bertindak untuk memimpin, serta menyerlahkan kepimpin­an yang boleh dibanggakan dan dihormati maka tidak boleh atau belum boleh ia dianggap pemimpin.

Tidak kira sama ada ibu bapa dalam keluarga, ketua dalam syarikat atau organisasi atau mereka yang menge­tuai badan-badan dalam struktur masyarakat dan politik.

Yang diperlukan ialah bukan bilangan ramai orang yang berada dalam kedudukan-kedudukan sebagai ketua, tetapi orang yang benar-benar mampu memimpin dan mempunyai kepemimpinan yang selaras dengan tuntutan-tuntutan Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara maju menjelang 2020 dan seterusnya.

TAN SRI RAFIDAH AZIZ pernah berkhidmat sebagai Ahli Parlimen selama 35 tahun, menteri selama 28 tahun dan Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO selama 38 tahun. Beliau kini ialah Profesor Adjung di Kolej Perniagaan Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) selain menjadi Pengerusi AirAsiaX, Megasteel dan Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studio.

Nasib politik Melayu

ORANG Melayu tidak perlu menyalahkan pihak lain apabila sudah ada keberanian luar biasa dalam kalangan pemimpin politik tertentu untuk memainkan isu sensitif berkaitan kedudukan kaum itu dan agama Islam.

Orang Melayu juga tidak perlu membuang masa untuk terpekik terlolong di jalan raya membantah tindakan biadab mana-mana par­ti politik kerana ia tidak akan menguatkan kedudukan politik mereka. Malah orang Melayu juga tidak perlu melenting tidak tentu pasal apabila ada parti politik yang menentang hukum hudud habis-habisan walaupun hukum itu bukannya hendak dilaksanakan ke atas orang bukan Islam.


Perwakilan Dewan Pemuda Pas yang hadir pada Muktamar Dewan Pemuda Pas Malaysia bertempat di Dewan Choon Moi, Kota Tinggi, Johor pada September lalu.

Sebaliknya, orang Melayu harus bermuhasabah kenapakah mereka dilayan sedemikian rupa. Bukankah mereka kaum majoriti dalam negara ini? Bukankah mereka menjadi tonggak pemerintahan negara melalui UMNO? Kenapakah agama Islam sebagai agama rasmi persekutuan dihina dan dicaci serta dipersendakan dalam laman-laman sosial? Di manakah silapnya?

Akuilah sahaja segalanya ber­punca daripada kelemahan orang Melayu itu sendiri, janganlah salah orang lain atau kaum lain tetapi salahlah diri sendiri kerana kita tidak tahu berpolitik dan seolah-olah terlalu jahil menggunakan kuasa politik yang ada.

Berikutan keadaan itulah, ki­ta menyaksikan bagaimana Pas begitu mudah diperkotak-katikkan dalam pakatan pembangkang. Se­lepas perjuangan parti itu untuk menegakkan negara Islam ditolak mentah-mentah oleh PKR dan DAP sehingga mereka terpaksa mengubah haluan perjuangan kepada negara berkebajikan, kini hukum hudud pula mahu ‘dikuburkan’ oleh sekutunya.

Walaupun Pas berhasrat untuk melaksanakan hukum itu di Ke­lantan dan hanya melibatkan orang Islam sahaja tetapi hasrat itu ditentang habis-habisan oleh DAP. Malah DAP secara terbuka mahu pakatan pembangkang membuat pendirian muktamad berhubung pelaksanaan hukum hudud, yang tersirat pakatan itu mesti menolak hukum tersebut.

Pas bukannya tidak memahami keadaan itu sebaliknya terus bersedia maruah parti tersebut terus diperkotak-katikkan walaupun hakikatnya Pas adalah parti Melayu ke­dua terbesar di negara ini. Bagaimanapun ke­ghairahan untuk berkuasa bersama PKR dan DAP terus menjadi nafsu yang tidak mampu dikawal oleh Pas.

Akibatnya, Pas hanya berani membuat kenyataan-kenyataan me­­­­­nentang hujah DAP tetapi untuk mengambil langkah drastik meninggalkan pakatan, ia hanyalah sekadar satu mimpi indah yang mengasyikkan.

Pas kehilangan jati diri sebagai sebuah parti yang memperjuangkan Islam dan sudah menggadaikan prinsipnya sebagai taruhan untuk sama-sama menawan Putrajaya bersama PKR dan DAP. Keadaan inilah yang memungkinkan kewibawaan Pas tidak pernah digeruni oleh kedua-dua parti itu walaupun dari segi sejarah perjuangan politik, Pas jauh lebih hebat daripada PKR dan DAP.

Segala-galanya kerana dilumuri politik kebencian yang mendalam terhadap UMNO. Sebab itulah ada dalam kalangan pemimpin Pas menganggap lebih baik berpeluk-peluk dengan pemimpin-pemimpin DAP daripada bersalaman dengan pemimpin UMNO.

Sikap inilah yang menyebabkan dari semasa ke semasa perasaan hormat dan gerun kepada kuasa politik orang Melayu semakin luntur. Apatah lagi ketika kaum lain bersedia bersatu demi kepentingan mereka tanpa mengira fahaman politik, Pas tidak mahu duduk semeja dengan UMNO bagi membincangkan kepentingan orang Melayu dan umat Islam.

Walaupun muncul kuasa ketiga yang terdiri daripada badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) Melayu namun keupayaan mereka terbatas. Mereka tidak akan berupaya menentang kehendak politik PKR dan DAP. Apatah lagi, dalam kalangan orang Melayu sendiri wujudnya gelombang tindakan yang boleh melemahkan kuasa politik mereka.

Kita perlu mengakui kuasa politik orang Melayu menjadi lemah dan semakin terhakis bukan kerana bangsa lain tetapi kerana kejahilan kita berpolitik. Kita mencari alasan dan hujah untuk melemahkan kepimpinan negara yang diterajui oleh UMNO. Teguran yang dibuat bukan bertujuan untuk memperkukuhkan kedudukan seba­liknya hanya menghakis keku­atan parti politik Melayu.

Keadaan menjadi lebih buruk apabila dalam kalangan pemimpin politik Melayu khususnya UMNO masih belum faham atau sengaja buat-buat tidak faham berhubung kehendak rakyat. Sebab itulah kita menyaksikan bagaimana ada dalam kalangan pemimpin tersebut masih dengan sikap angkuh tidak bertempat dan merasakan dialah yang terbaik serta masih relevan biarpun rakyat sudah menolak mereka dalam pilihan raya umum lalu.

Kuasa politik Melayu akan terus tergugat dan digugat, selagi pemimpin-pemimpin politik Melayu masih bercakaran sesama sendiri dan me­ngamalkan politik kebencian hanya disebabkan berlainan fa­haman politik.

Situasi ini membuka laluan seluas-luasnya kepada pihak-pihak tertentu untuk melemahkan kuasa politik orang Melayu dan sasaran mereka sudah pastilah UMNO memandangkan Pas sudah terikat kaki dan tangan serta mulut dikunci berikutan hubungan politik dengan PKR dan DAP.

Serangan ke atas UMNO akan berterusan dari semasa ke semasa. Kelemahan pentadbiran negara yang ditunjangi oleh UMNO akan dijadikan senjata untuk meruntuhkan kuasa politik orang Melayu. Tetapi ma­langnya bukan kata orang luar malah dalam UMNO sendiri masih ada yang tidak faham ancaman ini.

Mereka bertindak menjadi duri dalam daging kepada parti sendiri. Kita tidak menafikan bahawa UMNO juga ada kelemahan tetapi janganlah bertindak ibarat memberi `peluru’ kepada musuh. Ini kerana berbanding dengan parti-parti kaum lain mereka tidak pernah melakukan serangan yang boleh melemahkan kuasa politik kaum mereka. Dalam keadaan tertentu mereka akan bersatu tetapi apakah ini berlaku dalam cara berpolitik parti-parti yang didominasi orang Melayu?

Sudah pasti tidak! Apa yang kita saksikan ada kelompok akan tumpang semangkuk untuk melemahkan ku­asa politik orang Melayu. Sikap inilah yang menyebabkan kaum lain tidak lagi berasa gerun dengan kekuatan politik orang Melayu.

Oleh itu, sebelum terlambat, parti-parti politik orang Melayu perlu mengubah cara politik mereka. Ia termasuklah mendengar rintihan dan suara hati orang Melayu. Walaupun sokongan kaum lain diperlukan tetapi janganlah kerana keghairahan untuk berkuasa atau merebut kuasa suara orang Melayu dipinggirkan.

Percayalah, kalau orang Melayu bersatu tiada siapa yang berani membuat kenyataan menyinggung perasaan mereka atau menyentuh sensitiviti umat Islam seperti mana berlaku sekarang. Tetapi masalahnya kita terlalu sukar bersatu.

Orang Melayu masih berbalah sesama sendiri dan melihat se­gala-galanya dari segi politik se­hinggakan ketika perlawanan bola sepak pun mahu dilakukan tindakan bodoh iaitu hendak mengedarkan risalah mendesak harga minyak diturunkan.

Kejahilan sesetengah pihak untuk menilai kedudukan kuasa politik orang Melayu semakin terancam akibat perbalahan sesa­ma sendiri adalah sesuatu yang berbahaya. Jika ia tidak diubah maka percayalah pepatah ‘menang sorak kampung tergadai’ pasti menjadi kenyataan.

When rape victim faces whipping

MOHD Nasir was elected the head of Lhok Bani village in Langsa only 10 months ago – and already he is facing what he describes as “the biggest test of my life.”

Two weeks ago, a group of youths on their way home after watching a late night football match became suspicious when they neared the home of Yus, a 25-year-old divorcee and a single mother of two.

Believing she was having an illicit relationship – which is strictly forbidden in Muslim-majority Aceh under its syariah law – the young vigilantes stormed in.

When they found a man hiding in the cupboard, they tied him up, locked him in the cupboard, and then allegedly took turns to rape Yus.

As dawn broke and Mohd Nasir got ready for the subuh prayers, he received quite a shock when the bunch of youths came and handed him the bedraggled couple, saying they had caught the duo committing adultery.

They had thrown water and heaped dirt and sewage on the two before bringing them to the village head.

Mohd Nasir says Yus was in her nightwear and the man she was caught with was a stranger to him.

“To say I was in shock is to put it mildly. My mind was in chaos and all over the place. I have not been in the post more than 10 months and such a thing happens,” he says.

Mohd Nasir, who declined to be photographed, says he called the local Wilayahtul Hisbah (WH), the syariah police, who quickly took the couple away.

But there was another shock awaiting Mohd Nasir.

Two days later, the police came calling, saying that eight youths from the village had allegedly raped Yus that morning after they caught her alone with the man in her house.

“I was horrified to hear this. The boys are only 19- and 20-year-olds and there is also a 13-year-old. They didn’t say anything about this when they brought her to me.”

Three of the youths were detained by police. The other five have fled.

A billboard carrying a warning against adultery in Banda Aceh.

Mohd Nasir says the families of the eight youths are now stressed and traumatised.

“Rape is far more serious than adultery,” he says, adding that the boys are educated and should be able to tell right from wrong.

As village head, Mohd Nasir says, he feels sorry for both Yus and the youths.

“I don’t know why these young people didn’t come to us older folks immediately when they found the couple because then there would probably not have been a rape!”

One of Yus’ close relatives in the village who does not want to be named for fear she would be called to testify in court has mixed feelings over what happened.

“I don’t think Yus can ever come back and live here again. We are angry with her. She has no more friends in the village,” she says.

But after a while, she cools down enough to say how she really feels about the alleged gang rape.

“I hear there are actually 10 who raped her and they are just boys and still wet behind the ears!

“Yus couldn’t even shout for help because they covered her mouth and threatened her. I feel so sad when I think of how much pain she must have suffered being gang-raped,” says the relative who lives just metres from Yus’ house but slept through the incident.

“What is even sadder is that the boys who did it are people we know. They are our neighbours and some are even relatives,” she says.

Aceh has two legal systems.

One is the Indonesian Penal Code which is used throughout the country and covers criminal acts including murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping and other serious crimes. These are heard in civil courts and carry jail sentences upon conviction.

The second legal system is unique to Aceh – Qanun Jinayat, a syariah-based code and law.

But this covers only three key offences namely gambling, drinking alcohol, and khalwator/and zina (close proximity and adultery).

Offenders are caught by WH (pronounced “wee ha” for short) or by self-appointed vigilantes who hand offenders over to the syariah police.

The case is then heard in a Syariah Court and punishments meted out consist of fines and public caning. There is no jail sentence.

The Syariah Law has recently been beefed up, given more teeth and broadened to include non-Muslims, but this is controversial and has yet to be implemented.

The syariah police also regularly haul up and reprimand people for other “morality offences” like women wearing tight clothes or trousers and not covering their hair, men for wearing shorts that expose the knees, not attending Friday prayers or eating or selling food during Ramadan; male youths for sporting punk hair-styles or long hair, torn jeans, or wearing earrings. Schoolchildren playing truant are not spared either.

In one or two provinces in Aceh, women are not allowed to wear trousers (because it is seen as male attire) or to sit astride on a motorbike because this is deemed indecent. So they have to sit side-saddle when riding pillion.

In the case of Yus, the Langsa Syariah Police head, Ibrahim Latif, announced very early on that she and her male companion Wah (a 40-year-old married man) would be publicly caned because they had confessed to adultery.

But this has raised an outcry. An alleged rape victim may be further humiliated by being publicly caned for adultery.

Kuala Syiah lecturer of law, social science and politics Saifuddin Bantasyam, however, points out that people must understand that there are two laws systems at work here, and that the rape will be investigated under the Indonesian Penal Code while the adultery will be dealt with under the Acehnese Qanun Jinayat.

So, he says headlines such as “Woman Raped by Eight Men Will be Caned by the Syariah Police”, as carried by some international media on the case, were “provocative” and not accurate because both offences are being dealt with separately through the two different legal systems.

“But I criticise the Langsa government for being very reactive in dealing with the caning of the woman. There is no need for them to disclose to the media so early that the woman would be caned,” he says, adding that on the flip side, the authorities are not seen to be dealing with the gang rape issue as quickly.

“This is making people question the judgment of the (Langsa) government,” he says.

He notes that when the story of the gang rape broke out, there was a flurry and the police arrested three.

“But now it’s gone quiet. We are not reading anything more about the other five who are on the run.”

The concerns of rape cases going cold is real.

Aris, 30, from Langsa should know. He is still sore that one of his university mates, Nora, a law student who was raped by the syariah police in January 2010, has still not received justice.

Nora and her boyfriend were riding on a motorbike when they were stopped by the syariah police.

The syariah police detained Nora and asked her boyfriend for money to secure her release. While he went to get the money, the two syariah policemen raped her.

Aris, an active student leader, says they organised protests and demonstrations against the syariah police in Langsa and called for the head to step down and the two syariah police involved to be arrested and charged.

Nora’s life changed forever, he says.

“She dropped out of university after the rape. She was ashamed because the whole of Aceh heard about her case.

“She wouldn’t take my calls. She’s gone off somewhere and disappeared.”

As for the two syariah policemen who raped her, Aris says they ran away.

“It’s been four years and we don’t know what has happened with the case.”

After Nora’s case, the syariah police in Langsa eased up on their operations for two years or so and the chief was removed. But now they have become active again.

Langsa is only 171km from Medan in Sumatra compared to 436km from Banda Aceh and the religious authorities here worry that because of this proximity, people in Langsa might be influenced by the free and liberal lifestyle in Medan which is not governed by syariah rules.

Recently, the syariah police in Langsa shut down family karaokes at coffee shops. Families are also not allowed to go to the beach.

“We are hungry for entertainment,” says Aris’ friend Cheded who plays the guitar but finds he has no place to perform any more with his band friends.

So Cheded and his friends head to Medan twice a month just for some music, massage and entertainment, spending at least one million Indonesian rupiah (RM284) on fuel and hotel a night for each trip they make. Many in Langsa also do this.

“Isn’t this an outflow of money from Aceh?” asks Cheded who works in a bank.

Then there’s the tragic story of Putri, a 16-year-old.

She was out late at night with a group of friends in an open and public area in Langsa on Sept 3 last year when the syariah police took her.

The following day, a local newspaper ran a story saying the syariah police had picked up a prostitute and published Putri’s name.

Humiliated, Putri hanged herself. She left her father a heart-breaking suicide note denying the accusation and saying she wanted to spare him the shame.

Raped Aceh woman may be caned

JAKARTA: A 25-year-old Acehnese woman is at risk of being caned by Aceh’s syariah police despite being a victim of gang rape at her home in Langsa.

“She could definitely be caned if investigators find she and her companion violated the qanun [Islamic by-law] on close proximity, or khalwat,” said Langsa Islamic Sharia Agency head Ibrahim Latif.

The Aceh provincial administration has imposed the Qanun Acara Jinayat, a syariah-based criminal code that stipulates rules and punishments governing behavior according to Islamic law.

The code applies to all people in the province, including non-Muslims.

Qanun No. 14/2003 stipulates syariah law offenders will be caned three times at a minimum and nine times at a maximum, or required to pay a fine of between 2.5 million rupiah (US$215) and 10 million rupiah.

For the 25-year-old woman in question, there is no qanun that carries a punishment for rape.

So far, Aceh only has four qanun: One on religious affairs, worship and religious symbols; one on khamar (the consumption of alcoholic drinks); one on maisir (gambling), and one on khalwat (affectionate contact between an unmarried couple).

“Since Aceh does not yet have a qanun on rape, the perpetrators will be charged under the Criminal Code [KUHP]” said Latif.

The rape took place in the woman’s house at around 1am on May 1 when she, who was with a married man in her house at the time, was closely observed by nine villagers who were suspicious of their movements.

When the woman and her male companion went inside, the villagers immediately followed, tying up the woman’s companion and placing him in a cupboard before alledgedly taking turns to rape the woman.

The group then handed the woman and man to the village chief who, in turn, gave them to the syariah police. After providing advice and counseling, the police eventually released the woman and her companion.

The Langsa City Police later arrested some of the suspected rapists, but only caught three of them, while the other six fled.


The three were identified as ML, 28; Zu, 21 and CS, 13. The police, however, released CS as he was not found to have committed any crime, said Langsa City Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Hariadi.

According to Hariadi, the investigation of the case will be divided into two stages; the first investigating the act of rape, including the victims, and the second investigating the case in terms of Sharia law, with the rape victim and her companion suspected of an indecent act.

Women activists have urged the administration to handle the case fairly, saying that the rapists must be punished.

An activist at the Balai Syura Ureung Inong Aceh (BSUIA), Norma Manalu, said committing rape in the name of syariah law was completely inappropriate and ran against true Islamic values.

“Today, the people have taken the law into their own hands,” she said. - The Jakarta Post/ANN
Hotli Simanjuntak The STAR Thursday May 8, 2014 MYT 4:37:00 PM

Aceh, a decade on

Some vibrancy has returned but many survivors are still preoccupied with just daily survival needs.

A SUNNY Sunday at the beach is lovely in the Aceh capital, and more and more visitors descend on the sands and sea in the afternoon. Girls pose for pictures in a row, their clothes covered in sand. Families enjoy grilled fish in the thatched open huts while babies have a grand time rocking in their swings brought from home and hung from the beams, sleeping to the sound of breaking waves and the breeze – a rarity in town.



Standing strong: A mosque is the only surviving building in Lampu’uk, a once-bustling beach town 20km west of hard-hit Banda Aceh. Before the area was turned into rubble by the tsunami, it was popular with tourists for its waves, clean white sand, grilled fish, and coconut drinks. — Photos: The Jakarta Post

This is where people, particularly women, can be carefree; a few are without their headscarves while others play in the water fully clothed, with no worries of the possibility of getting arrested even if their long clothes cling to their bodies when emerging from the water. Hardly anyone is wearing proper swimwear; even the burqini is tight-fitting and might be considered improper by a passing Syariah police officer.

These are the early days of the new Syariah penal code (Qanun Jinayah). It seems people are used to taking chances with the Syariah police, as they are determined to have fun, especially on the weekends.

The lawmakers and officials are busy making rules obsessed with “heaven and hell”, says one resident, while they enjoy themselves with trips to Jakarta and elsewhere, taking many breaks from restrictive Aceh “while the poor can’t go anywhere”.

The poor don’t go to the beach a lot either as reflected in the parking lots along Lampu’uk Beach, largely filled with SUVs big enough for entire families. Small eateries have become vibrant again here after they were rebuilt following the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that wiped out all stalls and surrounding buildings, one even named “Hikmah Tsunami” (the tsunami blessing).

The World Bank’s assistance programme was among the international aid provided for the food-stall owners on the beach.

The hikmah of the tsunami is constantly referred to in regard to Aceh, as after 30 years of war, it led to negotiations between the Indonesian Government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), facilitated by the Helsinki-based Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) under former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari. His name and Helsinki are immortalised in ballads, such as that sung by an elderly singer during the recent annual Acehnese arts festival in Banda Aceh.

The happy sounds and sights of coastal villages such as Lampu’uk hide most scars of the war and the tsunami. It is neighbour to Lhok Nga, the site of high cliffs where a few locals survived the disaster as they were swept up and clung to tree branches.

Whole villages, a popular resort and the women’s prison were wiped out along with almost all their occupants. In the years of the war even weekends were not so full of visitors and swimmers, locals say, as Banda Aceh and its surroundings were among the war’s hotspots.

“People didn’t go out much. Residents, including police officers, would get shot for nothing,” says Iskandarsyah, an elderly pedicab driver. “The life of a chicken was worth much more then.”

Soldiers were more wary, he adds, going to work in sandals with their uniform and shoes in a bag. He was shocked, he says, coming home following the death of his mother in 1992 and witnessing the effect of military operations, after two decades working on ships in Bali, sailing to the shores of the United States, Africa and Japan. “Life at sea was much better,” he says.

After the 2005 Helsinki Agreement, for which the CMI received the Nobel Peace Prize, and which “left a sweet legacy for the Acehnese” from then president Susilo Bambang Yudhyono and his vice president Jusuf Kalla, a student says that new, unexpected problems arose.


A visitors observes a boat sitting on top of a house in Banda Aceh. The site, which memorializes the tsunami that devastated Aceh, has been turned into a tourists attraction.

Euphoria greeted the autonomy long-promised since the 1960s, which finally came into being, and Aceh became among the top-five recipients of the state budget. After almost 10 years of peace, says Samsidar, a former commissioner of the national women’s rights body from Aceh, things should have progressed much more.

But as other sources testify, the foremost daily concern is again the question of security, brought on by the widening economic gap rather than the Syriah police.

“It used to be the case that we all suffered together, nobody had anything,” says Farid Wajdi, rector of the Al Raniry State Islamic University, referring to both the war and the natural disaster. “Now many of those who feel entitled (to economic gains) are making demands,” some involving armed robbery. The disgruntlement is not limited to former GAM combatants.

“You couldn’t really tell back then”, who supported GAM and who did not, a resident says.

Ten years after the disaster and almost a decade after the end of the war, peace still looks fragile. The provincial and regional governments and local leaders are accused of neglect, or incompetence, or abuse of power, or all three, with suspicions of unfair and poorly targeted distribution of aid after the 2004 disaster.

Shortly after the disaster, tsunami victims were getting much more attention than war victims – despite the latter group explicitly being referred to in the 2005 Helsinki memorandum of understanding and despite claims that linger until today that many survivors of the disaster did not get their entitlements.

“Someone else got a boat and he wasn’t even a fisherman,” Rizal, a fisherman in Meulaboh, says.

Survivors of the disaster and the war say they have been too preoccupied with daily survival needs to continue demanding their rights.

Nowadays, the Acehnese are doing what they can for their families and their future.

Pedicab driver Iskandarsyah fishes out his wallet, which contains a picture of a lovely young woman. “I married late, my daughter just started college.”

She really aspires to go to the naval academy, probably inspired by her father’s tales. He hopes to help her achieve her dreams although he has doubts.

“I told her that life on a ship is not for a woman.” – The Jakarta Post

Bracing for the next killer wave

Geologists are striving to provide sound science so policy makers and people in vulnerable areas can make the right decisions.

A GEOLOGICAL time bomb is ticking in Indonesia, and the city of Padang on Sumatra’s western coast is sitting smack on top of it.

In the last decade, five major quakes including the one that triggered the 2004 tsunami, have struck the city of 1 million, giving it the dubious distinction of being the current earthquake capital of the world.

Indeed, the level of seismic activity in western Sumatra is second to none.

While they may quibble about the details, experts at the Earth Observatory of Singapore believe that the next big one, which has been building up since 2000, will come in mere decades, the blink of an eye in a field where scientists more commonly study patterns in land and rock formations spanning millions of years.



This forecast is based on the work of the Earth Observatory’s director, geologist Kerry Sieh, and was first made nearly six years ago.

“Corals on the reefs of west Sumatra record in their annual growth layers patterns of large earthquakes,” he says.

“These patterns repeat about every two centuries, which is about the time since the last set of great earthquakes and tsunamis there.”

A giant 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami similar to, but perhaps a bit smaller than, the one that caused the waves of destruction 10 years ago will strike within a few decades, he believes.

The quake itself will damage or destroy many existing buildings and bridges, and the resulting tsunami will reach the shores of the Mentawai Islands within five to 10 minutes.

And in 20 to 30 minutes, it will hit the mainland of the west Sumatran coast, including Padang.

“Scientists can’t predict the exact day, month, or year, but it will happen in the lifetime of the young people living there,” he says.

Massive earthquakes like this occur only in subduction zones where two of the tectonic plates that comprise the earth’s surface are converging, with one plate diving beneath another.

The Dec 26, 2004 earthquake happened because of the rupture of the Sunda Megathrust, which is the fault plane along which the Indian and and Australian plates slide beneath the Sunda plate and Sumatra.

Uplift of the seafloor, caused by the rupture of the megathrust further north, displaced the seawater above to start the worst tsunami on record.

The water spreading out from the fault reached speeds of up to 800kph and heights of 15m, slamming into 13 countries, with Indonesia the closest and worst hit.

About 250,000 people died in the disaster, and two million lost their homes.

Because the fault line from the Indian Ocean tsunami ran generally north to south, waves radiated out in a mainly east and west direction, and places to the west and east were hit hardest.

Singapore was spared because it is sheltered by the surrounding land masses. In addition, the shallow waters in the Malacca Straits and South China Sea – unlike the deep waters in the Indian and Pacific oceans – dampened the fury of the waves, and dissipated their energy. Australia, lying south of the original fault line, was also spared major damage.

Prof Sieh and his colleagues from Nanyang Technological University and Indonesia are now eyeing a 400km section further south, beneath the Mentawai Islands west of Sumatra. It is part of the fault line that makes up the 5,500km Sunda megathrust.

Called the Mentawai patch, it has remained intact for nearly 200 years, and is under tremendous and increasing stress.

“Large earthquakes on long, locked fault zones commonly trigger one another, and hence cluster together in time,” Prof Sieh says.

Dr Sylvain Barbot, a principal investigator at the earth observatory who is working on the subject, adds: “In the Mentawai area, we have seen great earthquakes occur to the north and to the south.

“We don’t know if the fault will generate two great (earthquakes) or one giant earthquake, but the fault must move somehow to catch up with its neighbours.”

Another expert on Sumatra earthquakes, Dr John McCloskey, professor of geophysics at Britain’s University of Ulster, likens the current build-up to the drawing of a bow.

“Off western Sumatra the bow is drawn tight,” he said back in 2010.

“The last shock happened more than 200 years ago and the stresses are probably larger now than they were then; the earthquake must happen soon.”

Prof Sieh adds that the intensity of the quakes in the last few years has been unprecedented, and no one can tell when the current cluster will end, although the countdown to failure has begun.

To forecast earthquakes and tsunamis more reliably, Prof Sieh and fellow researchers at the earth observatory use a Global Positioning System to continuously collect, process, analyse and archive data on tectonic plate movements in the region.

They also examine sand deposits and corals to work out when the last big quakes occurred.

And in recent work in a cave in west Sumatra, strata of sand and other deposits swept in from tsunamis that occurred over the past 7,500 years have unveiled the longest and most detailed record yet of the natural disasters that have hit the Aceh coast.

Radiocarbon analysis of materials such as charcoal fragments, clamshells and remains of microscopic organisms, unearthed evidence of 10 tsunamis before the one in 2004, and the scientists now know that tsunamis may cluster in time.

Prof Sieh says his role is to provide sound science so that policy makers and people at risk can make the right decisions, and he and his team have been involved in public education and outreach efforts for years.

His advice to the residents of Padang and Western Sumatra: “In most areas, there is not enough time to wait for official warnings or to see receding water or the tsunami itself.

“People living near the coast should evacuate to high ground immediately after feeling an earthquake that is strong or lasts longer than one minute.” – The Straits Times, Singapore

Build back, better

Dec 26, 2004, saw unspeakable devastation unleashed upon the region – as well as a surge of human dedication and resilience.

CALL it the day large parts of the world got to know the meaning of force majeure as a phrase and not a contract clause.

As dawn broke on Dec 26, 2004, along the ocean floor below Indonesia’s Sumatra island, deep, powerful impulses that had built up over centuries were convulsing the ground with a magnitude of 9.1 on the Richter scale.

Shaken by the tremors, the dark, unfathomed ocean depths released energy more than 25,000 times that of the bomb that flattened Hiroshima.

Waves are meant to ripple; the swells from this undersea quake radiated. And they did so at jet speed, unseen to human eyes as they snaked treacherously below the waterline. Only close to land, as the waters became shallow and the wave began rubbing up on rocks and sand did this many-headed submarine force rear its terrifying mane, crashing into coastlines with waves taller than palm trees, sweeping ships ashore, dragging buildings inland.

Then, the tide fell upon its back and returned to its ocean home, leaving death and devastation in its wake.

In Indonesia, the first settlements were struck by the tsunami within minutes. Thailand felt it soon after. So too the Andaman and Nicobar chain of islands, India’s toehold in South-East Asia.

Mainland India and Sri Lanka got the waves a couple of hours later as fishermen returned after a night’s work and tourists sniffed the salty air on beaches yet to be warmed by the sun. Even distant African coastal states like Yemen and Kenya would feel the tsunami’s impact hours later.

Protruding land masses protected countries like Singapore and Australia, but those in its direct line suffered greatly, none more than Indonesia itself, where more than 166,000 died. Sri Lanka, also directly in line, was the second biggest sufferer with more than 35,000 deaths while mainland India’s east coast reported more than 16,000 fatalities.

The final death count would top 226,000 across the 13 nations in Asia and Africa where the tsunami – a word so sweet-sounding that several children have since been named Tsunami – slammed ashore.

More than 1.7 million people were displaced, among them a pair of Acehnese children found drifting on a piece of wood 400km from their home in Meulaboh.

The economic damage?

Who knows.

To the credit of the world, the humanitarian response was unprecedented, and impressive.

Some US$14bil (RM48.25bil) in aid flowed to the affected nations, chiefly Indonesia. As always, the United States was the most generous – and capable – flying 817 relief missions to deliver 5,500 tonnes of relief supplies and deploying 25 naval vessels to the region, including the Mercy, a 1,000-bed hospital ship. At the peak of the relief effort, 16,000 US personnel were involved in the effort.

Tiny Singapore flew in 1,700 military personnel, its largest ever deployment overseas for a humanitarian cause.

Mankind has suffered stupendous natural calamities throughout its existence. The ancient Aryans, for instance, aware of the power of nature, prayed to the gods of wind, fire – and to Varuna, god of the waters.

Such propitiation was meant to stave off misfortune. But, in the last quarter of the 20th century, as the world realised that natural disasters were inevitable, it began to think of linking disaster relief to the development process.

Not surprisingly, it needed a superb communicator and policy buff like former US President Bill Clinton to crystallise our thoughts around what we needed to do.

“We need to make sure that this recovery process accomplishes more than just restoring what was there before,” Clinton said in his capacity as UN special envoy for tsunami recovery.

Those words have now been adapted as the slogan: Build Back Better.

At its simplest, Build Back Better is like putting in fibre-optic cable in places where copper wires used to form the backbone of a telephone network, before the disruption. But it means more. For instance, building resilience against future disasters and, in some cases, even bringing an end to enduring civil conflicts such as ethnic strife and insurgencies.

A decade later, therefore, even as the memories do not fade, many scars are healing. And nothing underscores this more than Aceh, which suffered the most.

Among the poorest of Indonesia’s provinces, Aceh had been further weakened by separatist violence that may have taken as many as 25,000 lives over three decades of conflict.

Jakarta, mindful of its experience in East Timor, had imposed martial law in the area in 2003 and, despite Aceh’s desperation, had banned most international aid agencies from operating in the area. The tsunami would claim 120,000 lives – five times the number claimed by the insurgency – and wreck the local economy.

Then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s far-sighted response to the disaster was to throw Aceh open to the international community’s relief effort. And the world responded. More than 200 relief organisations, including foreign military forces, arrived to help and fully a third of the US$14bil committed to the global tsunami response went to Aceh.

The shock of the disaster had a salutary effect. By the following August, the Indonesian Government and the Free Aceh Movement had signed a deal to end the conflict.

“The parties are deeply convinced that only the peaceful settlement of the conflict will enable the rebuilding of Aceh after the tsunami disaster to progress and succeed,” said a joint statement signed by the Indonesian Government and Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, the local name for the movement.

In Sri Lanka, where the tsunami hit the Sinhala-dominated southern part of the island, the biggest private donor was Raj Rajaratnam, a billionaire hedge fund manager on Wall Street who is of Tamil ethnicity

Rajaratnam had earlier been accused of covertly funding the separatist Tamil Tigers in its war against the Sinhala-dominated state.

At the Thai watering hole of Phuket, one of the most popular destinations in South-East Asia, the bounce back took less than two years.

Indeed, the Phi Phi islands off Phuket, where the Leonardo Di Caprio-starrer The Beach was partially shot in 2000, enjoyed one of its most successful tourist seasons the very next year. Only the Japanese, whose language gave the world the word tsunami, have dropped off a bit, Thai tourism officials say.

Some, like India, also saw opportunity in the challenge.

Even as it mounted a massive relief effort along the coastline in southern Tamil Nadu state, and in the Andaman & Nicobar islands, New Delhi subtly projected its rising power. First, it declined all external aid. Then it sent its own military to assist the civilian administrations tackling the relief effort in neighbouring nations like Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

In Car Nicobar, road connectivity across the island has improved.

India’s military, which lost the Car Nicobar air base to the tsunami, has used the build-back momentum to set up new military facilities and listening posts along the Andaman chain.

Not that it was all about projecting power.

On the Indian mainland, thanks to improved facilities after the rebuilding, girls who routinely dropped out of school on reaching puberty now stay in school longer. Older, illiterate women have learned to sign their own names.

Ten years after the disaster, Asia can look back and say the response brought out the best in terms of fellow feeling and a collective determination to fight back.

The true test of human intelligence of course is how we use experience to limit future setbacks. If so, we will know soon. The next challenge may not be too long coming.

Scientists at the Earth Observatory in Singapore say Sumatra’s western coast is sitting smack over a ticking geological time bomb that could trigger a quake as powerful as 8.8 on the Richter.

To an extent, we are prepared – for what we have endured. Asia has mechanisms now to warn of tsunamis.

Still, for those close to the epicentre of a quake, these warning systems may not be of much use.

At the end of the day, especially for those who live by the sea, strong legs and higher ground are often the only reliable means of survival against an angry tide. There is only so much science can do. – The Straits Times, Singapore

Ravi Velloor is the Foreign Editor at The Straits Times, Singapore.

Son: Ani a cool but strict dad

KUALA LUMPUR: The late Tan Sri Ani Arope (pic) was not only a “very cool” father who gave priority to his children’s education and character-building, but a much-loved figure among his godchildren, many of whom furthered their studies with his support.


“He stood out with his impeccable integrity and outstanding service. He was a man of principle,”

His son Ismail said although Ani was strict, he had given him and his siblings a lot of freedom to explore and do their own things.

“My father had always wanted us to do the right thing, to be useful and help the needy.

“He was generous and humo­rous ... he spoke fluent Tamil, Hokkien, French and had friends of many races. He was a very cool father,” added Ismail, 42, a director of CIMB-Mapletree Manage­ment Sdn Bhd.

Ani had also sponsored dozens of underprivileged youths to further their studies.

“He cared for their well-being and developed a strong bond with them. He even played match­maker for them,” said Ismail, adding that Ani was also very close to his former colleagues from several workplaces.

He said the godchildren and former co-workers had kept his father company and was by his side when he was ill.

Ani, the 82-year-old former Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) chairman, died at 5.20am yesterday at Subang Jaya’s Sime Darby Medical Centre, where he was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

He is survived by his wife Puan Sri Saenah Ahmad, 76, and three children – Sakinah, Dr Salina and Ismail.

He was laid to rest at the Section 21 Muslim Cemetery in Shah Alam.

Among those who paid their last respects were Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail and TNB CEO Datuk Seri Azman Mohd.

Ismail said his father was diagnosed with cancer during a routine medical examination for a pilot’s licence in 2009, but had kept it a secret from the family.

“He did not want us to worry and I only found out from his friend the following year,” he added.

Tan Sri Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, who replaced Ani as TNB CEO in 1996, said Ani would always be remembered by Malaysians as a principled and jovial person who enjoyed life.

“He was a great man and left a mark in the lives of many,” Ahmad Tajuddin added.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak conveyed his condolences through Twitter.

“My condolences to the family of TS (Tan Sri) Ani Arope who passed away this morning. May his soul be placed among the believers. Al-Fatihah,” he said.

Former Bernama editor-in-chief Datuk Seri Azman Ujang said Ani was one of Malaysia’s unsung heroes.

“He stood out with his impeccable integrity and outstanding service. He was a man of principle,” he said.

In a series of tweets, DAP advi­ser Lim Kit Siang said Ani should be given a Tunship as he was a hero who embodied the essence of 1Malaysia.

Asli Centre of Public Policy and Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said Ani was faithful to his calling no matter his post.

“He served the country with great distinction, and had set a very high standard as a public servant who showed the way in terms of dedication and integrity.

“He was always ready to speak up against corruption and inefficiency. He was a true Malaysian ... honest and moderate,” he said.

Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, chairman of CIMB Group, told Bernama he got to know Ani well when he was corporate adviser to TNB.

“He was ‘old school’ at its best. He was demanding but always fair. He was honest and stood up for honesty.

“And he was a nationalist, always thinking country before self,” he said.

GST and the sandwich class

Mixed forecast on how the new tax will affect middle-income households next year

THE jury is still out on whether the sandwich class will be hardest hit when the goods and services tax (GST) is implemented in April next year.

The Penang Institute reckons that low- and middle-income households will bear a higher GST burden than high-income households. Its CEO Dr Lim Kim Hwa and his colleagues estimate that the lowest-income households, earning RM605 per month, will be paying 1.71% of their income as GST and middle-income households, earning RM2,580 per month, will be paying 2.01% of their income.

They calculate that the highest-income households, earning RM31,850 per month, will only be paying 0.96% of their income as GST.


In a press statement after Budget 2015 was announced, they noted that low-income households would receive 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) exceeding the amount of GST they would have to pay. That should leave them with additional cash of between RM607 and RM828 per year, they estimate.

The high-income households will receive income tax savings through tax cuts which will exceed the GST payable, they said, giving them additional cash of RM4,296 per year. But the middle-income households would feel the squeeze, they claimed, as they would neither receive BR1M nor benefit much from income tax cuts, but would have to pay a larger portion of their income as GST. They estimated that households with income between RM55,000 and RM110,000 would end up with about RM708 less cash per year.


Progressive tax

Royal Malaysian Customs Department GST director Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy disagrees. By his calculations, GST will be a progressive tax – with the high-income households paying the largest proportion of their income. For a family with a monthly household income of RM2,000, he estimates that GST will make up 2.35% of their expenses. For a household earning RM4,000 per month, GST would be 3.55% of their expenditure and for a family with an income of RM8,000, GST would make up 3.67% of their expenses.

But, Subromaniam stresses, GST is a consumption tax based on spending – and should be measured in terms of consumption and not in terms of income. “Low-and middle-income earners are unlikely to spend more on basic items that are not GST zero rated,” he points out. “It is usually the wealthy who spend on luxuries.”

And, he adds, many have grossly ignored the discount effect of the sales and service tax of between 5% and 10% that will be abolished when the GST of 6% is introduced.

Education - is it alleviating poverty or causing it?

EDUCATION is the social game changer. In poor countries, it alleviates poverty. In developing nations like Malaysia, a more educated population can catapult us to developed status.

Scores of parents are striving hard to send their children to international schools to gain the holistic education, have better choices of tertiary institutions and have access to better paying jobs.

Borrowing future funds

Sending children to international schools is deemed the ticket out of mediocrity in Malaysia and to have a fighting chance in the global job market. But to what end?

Whether it is using EPF savings or selling off property to fund children’s private or international school education, this can be costly to many middle-class parents. While it may be acceptable to borrow funds to ensure our children get better secondary or tertiary education as they can always pay off the loans when they become employed, it is harder to replace “lost” retirement funds.

Therefore, it is not a prudent move to use funds meant for retirement as the fund is most needed when the “parents” are not at income-generating age any more.

Prioritising funds

With today’s Gen X-ers who are becoming parents at later age, we not only have to nurture our children but also care for our ageing parents whilst saving for our retirement. Prioritising investments is key.

1. Be realistic. Parents want the best for our children. If education savings are started early to take advantage of compounding effect, that’s great. If funds only permit an overseas tertiary education, then find the best local education option as our children can still experience holistic learning during university years abroad.

2. Gen Y-er parent, start investing now into a diversified portfolio. It is already too late if you have not started, as the cost of education will only increase.

3. Education is not just about getting the paper qualification. It is about learning. Parents can show kids new ways to learn without busting purses. Take advantage of free online courses like TedTalk or Khan Academy and “experiences” offered by museums, art galleries, nature trips and even playtime in the park.

Mustapha tak sempat rungkai misteri kematian bapa

Walaupun cuma beberapa kali bertemu Datuk Mustapha Maarof, dirasakan seolah-olah seperti sudah lama mengenali seniman itu. Sikap Allahyarham yang mudah mesra dan suka berkongsi ilmu membuatkan sesiapa saja yang berada di sisinya merasakan seperti ahli keluarga sendiri.

Kali pertama penulis bersama rakan setugas, Zulhimi Hat bertemu di rumahnya di Subang Jaya pada Mei 2014, membincangkan hasrat BH Ahad untuk membuat laporan eksklusif mengenai arwah bapanya, Maarof Zakaria, pengasas bank pertama untuk orang Melayu iaitu Malay National Bank. Bermula dari situ, kami kerap bertemu dan berbincang sebelum terhasilnya laporan bersiri mengenai ketokohan Maarof, yang namanya diabadikan pada sebatang jalan di Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur iaitu Jalan Maarof.

Maarof diculik pada 4 Disember 1947 ketika dalam perjalanan dari rumahnya di Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur menuju ke rumah ibunya di Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. Selepas tiga hari diculik, mayatnya ditemui dalam keadaan cukup menyayat hati, digantung pada sebatang pokok dalam hutan, berhampiran Batu 13, Jalan Kuala Lumpur-Bentong, Pahang pada Sabtu, 7 Disember 1947.


Laporan yang disiarkan akhbar BH mengenai Allahyarham Maarof.


Mustapha meninggal dunia

Ketika merancang untuk menulis laporan susulan menjelang genap 67 tahun kematian bapanya, Maarof, penulis dikhabarkan seniman veteran itu tenat dan Allahyarham menghembuskan nafas terakhir pada 15 Disember lalu. Al-Fatihah.

Selepas menyiapkan laporan bersiri sebanyak tujuh episod, penulis berasakan masih 'berhutang' dengan Allahyarham Mustapha kerana gagal membantu menunaikan hasratnya untuk melihat kes pembunuhan bapanya dirungkaikan. Allahyarham mahu kematian bapanya ibela dan pihak yang bertanggungjawab diadili sekali gus membersihkan nama tokoh Melayu itu kerana ada tuduhan liar mengatakan beliau membunuh diri.

Beberapa fail dan rekod lama berjaya dikumpul, termasuk daripada Arkib Negara dan kami sempat mengunjungi sanak saudara Maarof di kampung kelahirannya di Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan, untuk mendapatkan maklumat tambahan. Mustapha pernah meluahkan rasa hatinya mahu melantik peguam berwibawa untuk menyemak dan mengkaji semula kes itu tetapi menghadapi kekangan kewangan dan kes itu dilihat agak rumit kerana berlaku sebelum zaman merdeka.

Bahkan, cubaan untuk mendapatkan rekod lama di balai polis Bentong juga gagal kerana dimaklumkan, fail lama yang disimpan di dalam stor musnah selepas dua kali terbakar. Mustapha cukup yakin bapanya menjadi mangsa komplot pihak tertentu yang tidak mahu melihat tokoh Melayu bangkit terutama dalam bidang ekonomi kerana penubuhan Malay National Bank itu dilihat bakal menjadi saingan kepada dua bank di Tanah Melayu ketika itu, The Chartered Bank milik British dan bank milik China iaitu Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC).

Ada pihak didakwa cemburu

Sedangkan ketika itu, orang Melayu cuma dibenarkan meminjam wang daripada ceti haram. Keluarganya percaya pihak yang cemburu dengan langkah berani Maarof mengambil tindakan drastik dengan menculik dan membunuh Maarof.

Pada awal Disember lalu, penulis menyuarakan hasrat Mustapha itu kepada Pengerusi Pertubuhan Sukarelawan Peguam Malaysia (Suka- Guam), Datuk Khairul Anwar Rahmat dan ia disambut baik. SukaGuam melihat hasrat keluarga Mustapha itu sebagai peluang terbaik untuk membantu menonjolkan ketokohan Maarof yang juga bekas peguam dan bersedia merujuk kes itu kepada Jabatan Peguam Negara dan Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM).

Sayangnya, ketika kami sudah menetapkan tarikh untuk menziarahi Mustapha dan keluarga di hospital, Allahyarham terlebih dulu dijemput menemui pencipta-Nya. Sekali lagi hasrat kami terbantut. Sehingga kini, kematian tokoh Melayu itu masih menjadi misteri.

Siapa yang membunuhnya, siapa dalangnya dan siapa yang bertanggungjawab. Siapa yang menyerang dan menembak keluarga Maarof di Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur beberapa bulan sebelum beliau diculik? Penulis tertanya-tanya, selepas kematian Mustapha, siapa lagi yang boleh berkongsi cerita atau maklumat untuk meneruskan hasrat murni itu serta siapa yang sanggup menghulurkan bantuan merungkaikan persoalan berkenaan.

Tanah rizab ibarat nyawa

Berdasarkan laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2013, makin banyak tanah rizab Melayu yang ditukar status untuk tujuan pembangunan, tidak diganti atau proses penggantiannya mengambil masa terlalu lama.

Ada kerajaan negeri telah menukarkan status tanah rizab kepada pegangan bebas untuk memberi peluang kepada bukan Bumiputera dan orang asing untuk membeli tanah di negeri itu. Enakmen Rizab Melayu diperkenalkan pada tahun 1914 bagi mencapai matlamat untuk menjaga tanah kepunyaan Melayu agar kekal dikuasai oleh orang Melayu sepanjang zaman.



Perkara 89 (3) Perlembagaan Persekutuan menetapkan tanah rizab Melayu yang mahu dibatalkan dan dipindah hak milik perlulah digantikan dengan kawasan sama jenis dan sama luas dengan kawasan yang dibatalkan.

Tidak diganti

Hakikatnya, tanah yang dibatalkan sebagai tanah rizab Melayu tidak digantikan. Jika ditelusuri sejarah, ada wasiat Raja-Raja Melayu ketika pembentukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu pada 5 Ogos 1957 yang menetapkan nisbah 50 peratus tanah di negara ini diperuntukkan kepada Tanah Rizab Melayu.

Satu daripada tujuh Wasiat Raja-Raja Melayu itu menyebut: "Kami isytiharkan dan kami simpan untuk kamu dan kami benarkan kamu isytihar dan simpan untuk anak cucu kamu, selain gunung-ganang, tasik dan hutan simpan, Tanah Simpanan Melayu sehingga nisbah 50 peratus, selebihnya kamu rebutlah bersama-sama kaum lain."

Hakikatnya, berlaku penyusutan berkali ganda membabitkan tanah rizab Melayu dan ia tidak hanya pada sebuah negeri, malah ada negeri mencatatkan penurunan lebih 50 peratus daripada jumlah asal yang diisytiharkan tanah rizab Melayu. Keprihatinan Majlis Perundingan Melayu (MPM) yang mewakili 284 pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) dan Pertubuhan Pemikir Agenda Watan Malaysia (Pemikir), kelmarin yang mahu kerajaan mewartakan tanah milik kerajaan, termasuk kuarters sebagai tanah rizab Melayu, seharusnya disokong.

Pengerusi Biro Perlembagaan MPM, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, berkata semua tanah milik kerajaan di kawasan bandar, termasuk di Kuala Lumpur yang belum dibangunkan perlu ditukar statusnya bagi mengelak dikomersialkan untuk tujuan tertentu sehingga menghakis pemilikan Bumiputera. Jika dibiarkan, akan mengakibatkan ketidakseimbangan pemilikan hartanah antara kaum yang ketika ini kritikal, sekali gus mengancam keamanan negara. Hanya 21.9 peratus pemilikan hartanah Bumiputera di Kuala Lumpur.

Sejak berzaman lagi, pemilikan tanah yang luas menandakan kekayaan dan kekuasaan sesuatu bangsa. Malah, bangsa penjajah, baik British, Belanda dan Perancis sanggup merentasi lautan untuk mencari 'benua baharu' demi kepentingan ekonomi empayarnya. Kita pula mudah menukar status tanah demi keuntungan jangka pendek tanpa memikirkan kesan jangka panjang yang akan menimpa generasi akan datang. Jadikan bumi Palestin sebagai iktibar kerana daripada penjualan tanahlah menyebabkan Yahudi dapat bertapak kukuh di negara itu.

Perlis juara Piala Emas Raja-Raja 2014

TEMERLOH: Perlis menewaskan Pahang 2-1 untuk mempertahankan mahkota kejuaraan GT Radial Piala Emas Raja-Raja 2014 di Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Temerloh di sini, malam tadi.


PASUKAN Perlis menjuarai Piala Emas Raja-Raja selepas menewaskan Pahang 2-1 dalam perlawanan Akhir Bola Sepak Piala Emas Raja-Raja di Stadium Mini Temerloh. - Foto Nazirul Roselan

Perlis membawa pulang hadiah wang tunai RM40,000 manakala Pahang selaku naib juara menerima RM20,000.

Perlawanan babak pertama seimbang tetapi tuan rumah mendahului pada minit ke-32.

Gol itu adalah jaringan M Fauzi Roslan yang menyambut sepakan sudut daripada Azidan Sarudin.

Keputusan separuh masa pertama kekal dengan jaringan 1-0.

Selepas rehat, Perlis bangkit menyamakan kedudukan 1-1 pada minit ke-75 menerusi pemainnya, Adrien Jurad yang melepaskan satu tendang cantik membolosi pintu gol Pahang.

Pasukan Singa Utara dengan gumbiranya menggigit Gajah Senak

Adrien Jurad Budak Siam Otai sekali lagi membantu pasukan Singa Utara

Perlis sekali lagi berjaya merobek gawang tuan rumah menerusi Pahang melalui , Anas Shaharom yang melepaskan rembatan kencang di minit terakhir perlawanan. Keputusan 2-1 berpihak kepada Perlis sehingga tamat permainan. - BERNAMA