August 7th, 2015

Integriti penentu ekonomi makmur

KELMARIN, Institut In­­­teg­riti Malaysia (IIM) se­kali lagi me­ngan­jur­­kan satu forum bagi membicarakan akan pen­tingnya integriti da­lam dunia korporat yang mem­bariskan Pengerusi Telekom Ma­laysia, Tan Sri Sulaiman Mahbob sebagai pembicara utama dan Pe­ngerusi Pantai Holdings Berhad, Datuk Khairil Anuar Abdullah dan Pengerusi Audit Oversight Board, Suruhanjaya Sekuriti Nik Hasyudeen Yusof sebagai dis­cussants.

Kehadiran peserta yang rata-ratanya ialah pegawai tinggi kerajaan dan peneraju korporat yang secara kolektif bersetuju bahawa demi kemakmuran ekonomi negara, semua pihak perlu berganding bahu membersihkan negara kita daripada sebarang persepsi negatif dalam kalangan pelabur dengan memberikan penerangan yang betul terhadap apa juga isu integriti yang melanda negara terutama sekali berkaitan isu korporat.



Nik Hasyudeen Yusof

Apa sahaja fitnah yang tidak bertanggungjawab perlu ditentang habisan-habisan demi survival negara dalam persaingan yang kian mencabar agar gene­rasi akan datang tidak menderita kerana perbuatan setengah pihak yang suka menangguk di air yang keruh demi untuk kepentingan politik dan sebagainya.

Integriti dalam mencari rezeki telah diajar berkurun lamanya oleh salah seorang Imam Ahli Sunnah Wal jamaah. Imam Muhammad Idris Al Syafie (767-820) iaitu pengasas Mahzab Shafie yang lahir di Asqalan, Syria dalam pesanannya, berpada-padalah dalam mencari rezeki.

Apa yang diperkatakan oleh Imam Syafie itu adalah supaya kita sentiasa bersederhana dalam mencari rezeki dan sentiasa menitik beratkan soal halal haramnya rezeki yang kita bakal peroleh itu.

Sulaiman Mahbob

Dewasa ini apa yang membimbangkan adalah statistik yang dikeluarkan oleh Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) pada tahun lalu menunjukkan bahawa jenayah perdagangan di Malaysia mening­kat 168%, melibatkan kerugian lebih RM1.3 bilion.

Ini satu perkembangan yang cukup membimbangkan di mana jenayah ekonomi ini seringkali dikaitkan dengan mereka yang bijak pandai dan berkelulusan tinggi.

Tentunya kita masih ingat akan the world biggest accounting fraud yang dilakukan oleh Ramalinga Raju iaitu Ketua Eksekutif Kumpulan Satyam Computer Services, syarikat Fortune 500 yang tersenarai di tiga bursa saham iaitu di Mumbai, New York dan London.

Kebijaksanaan memanipulasi akaun yang dilakukan oleh lulusan MBA dari Universiti Harvard, Amerika Syarikat (AS) itu telah berjaya menyembunyi­kan penipuannya selama beberapa tahun dan hanya terbongkar pada Februari 2002, apabila pihak CBI India mula menjalankan penyiasatan sehinggalah Ramalinga dijatuhkan hukuman penjara 7 tahun dan didenda RM5.5 Crore Rupees (RM3.3 juta) oleh Mahkamah Tinggi di Hyd­rabad, India pada Mei lalu.

Natijah daripada perbuatannya itu telah menyebabkan Syarikat Satyam Computer Services mengalami penggulungan operasi dan menyebabkan 30,000 warga kerjanya kehilangan pekerjaan.

Khairil Anuar Abdullah

Kebankrapan terbesar dunia pula melibatkan syarikat gergasi Worldcom Corporation , syarikat telekomunikasi AS berlaku pada 2002, melibatkan kerugian lebih AS$100 bilion adalah gara-gara perbuatan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutifnya yang bernama Bernard John Ebbers,lulusan Doctorate In Law dari Missisippi College, AS. Walaupun beliau kini terpaksa meringkuk dalam penjara selama 25 tahun tetapi perbuatannya telah menyebabkan banyak pihak mengalami kesukaran hidup.

Kita juga masih tidak lupa terhadap skandal Enron Corporation yang berlaku pada Oktober 2001 di mana syarikat gergasi yang pernah memenangi anugerah American Most Innovative Company selama enam tahun berturut-turut ini juga akhirnya tumbang gara-gara perbuatan tiga orang peneraju utamanya iaitu Kenneth Lay, Pengerusinya, Jeffery Skilling, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutifnya dan Andrew Fastow, Ketua Pegawai Kewangannya, melibatkan kerugian AS$64 bilion dan seterusnya menyebabkan 20,000 warga kerja syarikat berteraskan tenaga itu kehilangan pekerjaan masing-masing.

Sebab itulah, seorang penulis dan penyair Inggeris yang terkenal iaitu Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) dalam karyanya The Rasselan mengatakan bahawa - “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful”.

Mengekang jenayah korporat bukanlah satu perkara yang mudah malah memerlukan pendekatan program pendidikan secara inklusif dan berterusan. Hukuman yang berat juga belum tentu boleh mengekang masalah integriti dan ini terbukti di mana negara China yang mengenakan capital punishment kepada penjenayah ekonomi di China juga gagal mengekang masalah rasuah di negara itu apabila Indeks Persepsi Rasuah Antarabangsa China yang dikeluarkan oleh Transparencies International jatuh merudum dari posisi 80/177 pada 2013 kepada tangga 100/175 pada 2014.

Ini bertepatan sekali dengan apa yang diperkatakan oleh Lord Betrand Russel iaitu pemenang Hadiah Nobel bagi kategori kesusasteraan yang mengatakan bahawa - “ No amount of rules could ensure morality”.

Kita sentiasa berdoa agar negara kita akan terhindar dari segala bentuk fitnah dan mala petaka kesan dari tadbir urus yang tidak baik dalam dunia korporat.

Satu perkara yang paling utama yang perlu kita hayati dan amalkan adalah sebagai ketua keluarga yang berintegriti tinggi, kita wajib memastikan bahawa rezeki yang kita bawa pulang untuk meme­nuhi keperluan keluarga di rumah adalah rezeki yang baik lagi halal.

Bagi orang Islam perintah untuk memakan rezeki yang baik itu telah difirmankan Allah SWT di dalam al-Quran yang bermaksud “ Wahai orang yang beriman, makanlah kamu dari rezeki yang baik (lagi halal) yang telah Kami Anugerahkan kepada kamu dan bersyukurlah jika benar kamu beriman kepada Allah” (Al-Baqarah -172).

Sebagai orang Islam, kita wajib percaya bahawa rezeki yang baik yang dibawa pulang untuk keluarga akan mampu melahirkan anak-anak yang berakhlak mulia.

Penulis ingin menutup diskusi pada kali ini dengan mutiara kata dari negarawan ulung India iaitu Mahatma Gandhi yang mengatakan bahawa - “ The world is enough for everybody need, but not enough for one man greed.” (Dunia ini cukup untuk semua manusia, tetapi tidak cukup untuk ketamakan seorang manusia).

Selagi ada sifat ekstrim ketamakan dalam diri seorang manusia maka selagi itulah masalah integriti seperti rasuah, penipuan dan penyelewengan akan terus berleluasa.

Rombakan Kabinet, cabaran urus masa depan

UCAPAN setinggi tahniah kepada Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak kerana berani merombak Kabinet pada saat kita sedang berdepan pelbagai cabaran dari dalam dan luar negara.

Penyusunan semula kepemimpinan pentadbiran negara bukan bererti semua cabaran boleh diatasi. Sebaliknya ia memberi ruang kepada pucuk pimpinan mengatur pasukan dan strategi baharu untuk berdepan pelbagai cabaran getir yang belum pernah dialami warganegara berdaulat ini.

Sebagai bekas Penasihat kepada Menteri Pengajian Tinggi dan Naib Canselor, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, saya berasa amat gembira status Kementerian Pendidikan Tinggi dikembalikan semula. Ini adalah langkah bijak meneroka potensi kepemimpinan ilmu sebagai asas membina negara yang mampu membangun inovasi ilmu dan teknologi untuk mencapai wawasan negara maju 2020.

Lebih manis lagi, jika Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi digembleng bersama Kementerian Pendidikan Tinggi untuk mewujudkan kesatuan ilmuwan berinovasi luar biasa.

Masyarakat aset utama negara

Pada prinsipnya sebuah negara maju, berwawasan dan dihormati terbina berasaskan gabungan tiga sumber utama - sumber manusia, sumber asli dan kepemimpinan berwawasan.

Masyarakat adalah aset utama dan modal insan negara yang perlu diberi perhatian tinggi. Negara perlu akui, Malaysia terbina daripada bangsa majmuk dengan pelbagai agama dan kepercayaan, tetapi didasari oleh bangsa Melayu (termasuk Bumiputera) dan cirian ini menjadi asas pembentukan sebuah negara bangsa bersatu padu yang berpegang kepada nilai murni.

Status semasa bangsa Malaysia, umumnya mempunyai asas pendidikan tinggi, kedudukan ekonomi yang baik, pegangan amalan tradisi yang kukuh dan dengan munculnya Generasi-Y yang terdedah kepada senario amalan global - adalah sesuatu yang perlu diterima dan dihayati semua pihak.

Kepemimpinan negara perlu mengambil kira cirian modal insan begini bagi membina dasar pembangunan dan mengurus negara. Kepemimpinan negara juga perlu melihat alam sekitar dan sumber asli sebagai sumber terpenting negara.

Malaysia sangat bernasib baik kerana dirahmati dengan sumber minyak dan gas yang banyak, sumber mineral, batuan dan hutan yang meluas, kepelbagaian biologi, sumber air bersih yang melimpah dan tanah pertanian yang subur.

Bayangkan banyak negara dunia yang kekurangan dan ketiadaan sumber asli berdepan cabaran besar untuk mengurus negara. Jika pengurusan sumber ini tidak dilakukan secara lestari, negara bakal berdepan krisis sumber asli yang turut boleh menjejaskan keharmonian masyarakat dan kestabilan ekonomi.

Kementerian Sumber Asli perlu diberi peranan besar untuk menjadikan agenda Pembangunan Alam Sekitar sebagai wawasan negara yang kedua terpenting selepas pembangunan modal insan.

Dengan dasar jelas dan amalan baik, negara mampu mengurus sumber asli dan alam sekitar berasaskan gagasan Pembangunan Lestari dan beriltizam menjadi peneraju amalan yang dihasratkan untuk mengharungi abad ke-21 ini.

Lebih penting lagi, negara maju dan dihormati perlu mempunyai kepemimpinan yang berilmu, berwawasan, beretika dan berjiwa besar bagi memimpin komuniti negara dan dunia.

Kepemimpinan tidak saja berkaitan dengan pemimpin politik dan pentadbiran kerajaan, malah membabitkan kepemimpinan dalam konteks meluas.

Setiap sektor masyarakat perlu mempunyai pemimpin dan kepemimpinan berwawasan. Ini meliputi kepemimpinan ilmuwan (sarjana), kepemimpinan kerohanian (tokoh agama, ulama), kepemimpinan komuniti dan badan bukan kerajaan, masyarakat, perniagaan, sukan dan pelbagai lagi.

Perhatian perlu diberi kepada pemimpin keilmuwan, khususnya pemimpin mendahului zamannya. Mereka yang pakar dalam pelbagai bidang ilmu sains dan kemanusiaan, teknologi, perubatan dan kejuruteraan adalah pemimpin modal insan yang maju, berjiwa besar dan sanggup meneroka untuk kelestarian dan kebaikan masyarakatnya.

Kerajaan dan masyarakat perlu memberi ruang kepada pembangunan kepemimpinan pelbagai sektor ini untuk bergerak menjadi sebuah negara maju yang dihormati.

Peluang nilai cabaran getir

Kepemimpinan pentadbiran terbaru mempunyai peluang untuk menilai kembali cabaran getir yang sedang dihadapi negara, merancang dan membina strategi untuk mengatasinya dan lebih penting lagi membina semula kepercayaan masyarakat kepada kewibawaan dan kejujuran kerajaan yang memerintah untuk menaungi warganya.

Masanya untuk bersatu hati, berjiwa besar dan menghormati kepentingan ramai demi kepentingan negara. Perdana Menteri memilih barisan kepemimpinan pentadbiran untuk meneruskan agenda besar menjadi negara maju mengikut acuan sendiri dan berpendapatan tinggi.

Beliau juga perlu didampingi oleh sejumlah ilmuwan yang berupaya menempatkan ilmu di tempatnya dan menggunakan ilmu untuk kebaikan bangsa dan masa depan negara. Prof Emeritus Ibrahim Komoo Berita Harian Kolumnis 7 Ogos 2015

The passing of a great statesman

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was not a politician, but he was a true leader of men and a great success story. He was a poor kid who became a role model for leaders around the world.

THE VVIP walked to the stage to loud applause, flanked by the hosts. He passed the speaker’s podium. And stopped in his tracks. There, before him, were two rows of seats with a special chair in the centre for him, comfortable cushions and all.

The passing of a great statesman




Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

The man flatly refused to move unless the chair was removed.

“Get me a chair just like the ­others,” he demanded.

The hosts were flustered. They rushed around before deciding to remove the comfortable chair and place one of the other chairs there instead.

Placated, the VVIP walked over, raised his hands to the crowd and sat. And the crowd rose as one to give Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Kalam (pic) a standing ovation.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who died on July 27, was that kind of man – a humble leader who always consi­dered himself one of the millions of ordinary Indians.

He was no ordinary man, though. He has even been compared with Mahatma Gandhi, the man behind India’s independence and the great movement called satyagraha(passive resistance) and ahimsa (non-vio­lence).

Like Gandhi, he owned precious little but for most Indians of today, he was the most precious thing in the country. He was scientist, philosopher, poet, leader, teacher, medical researcher, missile man – and, above all, the People’s President.

When Dr Kalam was made president, he went into Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, with two bags of clothes. Five years later, his tenure done, he left the palace – with the same two bags.

Aides tell of how he used to wear the same few coats and shirts – some were frayed – although he was asked to buy new ones.

To his death, he owned little. He had some 2,500 books, a wristwatch, six shirts, four trousers, three suits and a pair of shoes. He did not own property. Not even a fridge, TV, car or air conditioner.

He survived on the royalties from his books – he authored four of them – and his pension.

He did not believe in accepting money from anyone. And his penchant was in driving this message home to the youths of India.

“If you know your father bought that car with money that he did not rightfully earn, tell him that you will never sit in the car. And stick to your words,” he said.

He wanted them to walk or cycle rather than ride in a car bought with ill-gotten wealth.

He said if society was to be fighting corruption, there were three key people who could make it happen – the father, the mother and the teacher. And he was the teacher.

He told youths to dream, not idle dreams, but dreams that would come true. Dreams, he said, are not what you see when you are asleep. They are what keep you from sleeping.

He was a devout Muslim – the son of an imam – but also a man who embraced all religions.

Born in Rameshwaram, an island in the southernmost tip of India, he grew up with the famed Ramanatha Swami temple towering over him. His best friend was Ramananda Shashtri, the son of a Hindu priest.

For great men, he said, religion was a way of making friends.

“Small people make religion a fighting tool,” he said.

And he lived up to his doctrine.

During his visit to Malaysia, he walked the street of harmony – Jalan Kapitan Keling – in Penang. At St George’s Church, he stood in front of the cross and recited a prayer. At the Kuan Yin temple down the road, he prayed with joss sticks in his palms. Then, he walked over to the Sri Mahamariamman Temple where he paid his respects.

As he stepped out to loud Indian traditional music, the crowd mobbed him. He took the mike and told the crowd in his native Tamil language to recite after him his favourite mantra. And, with a fervour seldom seen there, they chanted:

If there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character;

If there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home;

If there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation;

If there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.

Then, it was over to the Kapitan Kling mosque where he was ­greeted by the imam. He planted a tree – tree-planting to stop global warming was another great drive of his – and then joined a congregation of fellow Muslims in zohor prayers.

It was a lesson in harmony, on Harmony Street.

He may have been the man behind India’s killing machines, its rockets and bombs. But he was a man who loved every soul as his own. The only sad thing is: he was never an elected leader, one who could have made a difference in politics and policies. He was just a titular head of state.

But Dr Kalam died every inch a statesman, and as a role model for those in public life throughout the world. Even in death, he left a ­memorable legacy. Don’t declare a holiday on my death, he said.

“If you want to remember me, work an extra day,” he said.

In Jaipur, not only did they not have holiday on the day he died, all civil servants came back to work last Sunday to honour his words.

Dr Kalam may not have wanted a holiday upon his death but there are days for him. In Switzerland, May 26 – the day he visited the country – is World Science Day. And his birthday on Oct 15 is World Students Day. He was a teacher to his last breath.

APJ Kalam: President extraordinaire

THE Wings of Fire took its final flight last Monday, leaving others to continue the quest to make India a “knowledge superpower” and let the “ignited minds” leading the nation, unsure whether to look ahead or hark back to the past, pursue his dream that combined civilisational synthesis and science.

Avul Pakir Jainulabedin (APJ) Abdul Kalam’s mission, like his best-selling book title (Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam) sums up the dilemma of “Bharat” (India) of which he was a true “ratna” (jewel). India’s 11th president (2002-2007), one of the most remarkable men post-independence, collapsed, aged 83, while doing what he loved — addressing students. Kalam was unique on many counts.

He was a scientist who could quote from the Quran, Bible and Upanishadas with ease, recite classical Tamil poetry, play the rudra-veena, a traditional South Indian instrument, listen to Carnatic devotional music daily, and also perform his namaz (prayers).

Having a strong sense of the traditions in which his civilisation was anchored, Kalam was an embodiment of the eclecticism of India’s heritage of diversity. With his long silver hair unfashionably centre-parted and his Tamilian accent, he was an unlikely icon for young India that nevertheless adored him.

Unmarried, he had no children. But the way he would energetically move among them made President Pranab Mukherjee call him “Jawaharlal Nehru in another form”.

The only technocrat among politicians and scholars who have adorned the highest office, he lent it the touch of simplicity and modernity.

Presidents before and after him have undoubtedly been respected, but none is genuinely called “People’s President”. None with his obscure background (he sold newspapers as a student) has become the president.

During and after his tenure, his family continued to live in a village on an island near Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. No other president has been urged by educated middle-class, tired of politics and politicians, to return to that office five years after retirement.

He did not attempt a Putin because he was non-political, but not apolitical. He knew that he would make adversaries, which he had uniquely escaped throughout his career.

India’s presidency has gone to those who were prominent in public life and/or were close and loyal to those politically powerful. Kalam had none of those qualifications.

He was a retired scientist-bureaucrat on whom the highest office was virtually thrust. This was propelled by the need for political penance, of electing a Muslim in the highest office after over a thousand from that community were killed in sectarian violence in Gujarat under then chief minister, now prime minister, Narendra Modi’s watch.

It was also a ploy to beat the political opposition that might have embarrassed the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government by fielding a minority candidate. Innocent of all these considerations, Kalam fitted the bill.

On a personal/professional note, I “scooped” his choice for the presidency. I wrote ahead of the competition after some Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers whom I berated for the Gujarat carnage boasted about “a Muslim candidate whom nobody can oppose”.

Those were my moments of professional pride and satisfaction. The polite but elusive man who avoided meeting the media when he headed the Defence Research and Development Organisation, India’s gigantic defence labs’ network, saw a “friend” in me, to the envy of others.

A devout Muslim, he would happily pray at any shrine. One never asked, but obviously, he saw no contradiction.

During his presidential campaign, I secured a rare photograph of him in a temple’s garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum). It had great “news value” at that stage, I thought.

But to my utter disappointment, the newspaper I worked for did not use it — nor could I retrieve it. Even as a technocrat, Kalam was extraordinary.

He was an engineering graduate — no more — from the lesser known Madras Institute of Technology whose acronym MIT resembled that of the renowned American institution.

But he went on to guide space, satellite and missile missions, oversaw the defence R&D with arguable success and brought India to the global top table.

He never studied or qualified for a PhD, but received honorary doctorates from 30 odd universities across the world.

Defence establishments worldwide marvelled at this. When he became the president, some in the Western media claimed that he had mastered missile technology with American help, citing his brief, official visit to that country.

“I am completely indigenous!” he told The New York Times in 1998, the year India conducted the nuclear tests. For him, it was a point of pride that India did it without much help from foreign powers.

A man of peace, for him, all this was pursuit of science and technology — no more, no less. When the Manmohan Singh government was negotiating a civil nuclear deal with the US, the opposition turned to Kalam.

His advice carried the deal through in Parliament. He was in the team that developed India’s first rocket. The most ideal point to launch it fell in a church.

Kalam persuaded the local Christian community that facilitating it was the best service to God. Visiting Africa as the president, he proposed an Internet link up.

Today, much of the continent is linked to India’s healthcare network. He had an uncanny ability to connect with a variety of audiences.

Post-retirement, he set himself a demanding schedule of visits and speeches, notably to educational institutions. That included a visit to Malaysia.

Forever an optimist, Kalam’s every pronouncement oozed of pride in the past and boundless faith in the limitless possibilities of the future.

Advantage India, a book that throws light on the country’s opportunities and the key challenges in the next five years, will be his last. He was a non-partisan saint in a heavily partisan world.

He was a prophet who landed on the wrong planet.