Wednesday, November 26, 2008
YOGA-YOGA INTO A BHAIRAVA, A GOD OF A SORT THE MALAYS HAD FOUGHT
It’s a personality subversion Malays feel they are being made to face by the resurgent non-Malay chauvinism the past decade or so.
Some from the Hindraf, Dap, GERAKAN and PKR continue to bash the Malays, even claiming there really isn’t a Malay community at all, as though the Malays are merely shadows on the inside of their cranium.
The idea is to break the Malays into Javanese, Baewans, Aceher, Minangs and so on. While that may happen in Singapore, in Malaysia there are nine (9) Malay rulers the chauvinists must cause first to disappear.
The hate-Malay hate-Islam campaign has gone mad, leaving in its trail a dead PKR with the charismatic Anwar Ibrahim frozen solid in his track, a failure once again.
Some Chinese and Indians now say everything Malay is Indian or Chinese in origin, which is insane.
The idea is to harass and undermine the collective personality, the same way the colonial masters had done to the conquered.
As long as the name-calling did not take on an overt political nature the Malays do not seem to care. But it did.
The Gerakan and the Hindraf came under recent Malay reactions.
In last week’s episodes a group of 50 Silat (Malay martial arts) organizations convened by Pewaris on Saturday 22 November was to have begun the offensive against GERAKAN Wanita chief.
The gathering decided to march to a police station and lodge a report against Tan. But some people intervened and the march was called off.
When on the same day it was heard the National Fatwa Council had reached a decision to declare Yoga forbidden (haram), it did not cause any close observer to feel distressed.
But the popular reactions quickly sloshed into the wilds, few stopping to ask what the fatwa (legal decision) was really about.
The stampede did not even care to ask how many Malays or Muslims in Malaysia were involved in Yoga? For that matter, how many persons in Malaysia, regardless of race or religion, would be in the habit of performing Yoga?
In the fatwa, mention was purposely made about the fear the Muslims could be influenced by Hindu monism.
What then is the nature of the monism that was meant?
In Islam God is the Real (al-Haqq) and Perfect Being, or The Existent (al-Maujud). We are merely souls (nafs), or personalities.
Perfecting the personality is our existential objective - to become insan al-kamil (perfect man), a servant of God and not by any chance, God.
It ought to have been simple to understand the events as a light force reactions against the Malay- and Islam-bashing using Hindu monistic relief to send the Hindraf offensive scuttling for cover.
It should be remembered Pagar Ruyung (in Minangkabau) was founded in the mid-14th century by Adityawarman, the king who was a Bhairava, a God, by an immaculate address of Tantric rituals.
He depicted himself in stone, as did other Bhairava(s), standing on dozens of human skulls, now “couched in a dark corner of the Jakarta Museum”, said a Minang writer.
Written underneath the skulls was a description of how he slaughtered hundreds of his subjects and drank their blood, stemming the stench of the dead bodies by millions of fragrant flowers.
That is, to the Malay mind and historical experience, Hindu monistic relief. This contrast between Islam and Hinduism in the Malay World never did die.
Adityawarman ruled for several decades but his son and heir seemed to have been king of Minangkabau for about two years and then suddenly vanished without a trace.
In Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai the Hindu god-king insisted on incest and killed his son and heir who secured his two daughters from his lascivious divinity.
A man-God or God-man can do anything. The National Fatwa Council is simply asking is that what you want?
Islam battled against that Hinduism. The religion had not reached into the Malay world wholly by peaceful investments of Sufi teachings as many early historians had wanted us to believe.
Recent studies suggest Samudera-Pasai was overtaken by the early Muslim kingdom of Lemuri, which later became Aceh. Lemuri was founded in the 10th century, dispelling the history in our school textbooks that say Islam arrived in the archipelago not earlier than the 11th century.
The same style of Islamic expansionism felled the great kingdom of Majapahit. It was Muslim Demak that finally put the nail into the coffin of the Hindu-Buddhist empires in Nusantara.
And then, little is known in our schools about the intricate movements of Muslim spiritual persuasions (Tarekat), or of the diplomacy, statecraft and warfare in the Malay theological states.
Sumatra is not our neighbor but essentially a part of the Malay heartland together with Malaya (Tanah Semenanjung) and the Riau islands the British and Dutch sundered in 1824.
In Sumatra Aceh battled against the Portuguese and other Europeans as a part of pan-Islam jihad led by the Ottoman in Istanbul in the early 16th century, and later as a part of the India’s Mughal reform movement under Aurangzeb.
Minangkabau combusted in 1803, leading into the Paderi War (1813-1833), a fight to the finish between Wahabi Islam (of Saudi Arabia) and the rule of Adat (Malay Customs and Traditions).
The Adat some blamed for the accesses in Malay society, causing sexual exploitation of women in some communities and in others, to rampant homosexual practices. These are recorded in a Hikayat or two.
The Paderi War, finally led by Imam Bonjol, left in its wake a legend of puritanical Islam that is still very much alive in the Malay Muslim mind and is recalled whenever Islam is faced with upstarts or moral irregularities.
It is a combat that is meant by the fatwa on Yoga, a puritanical force that should take care of the wayward and the upstarts.
The fatwa is suggesting a revivalism by which the Malays and Muslims can achieve the cohesion and coherence they would need to remove the nuisance and return the Barisan Nasional to power with the two-third majority when comes the time to vote again.
It’s over for Anwar Ibrahim and his experiment with a multiracial party. Most Malays have turned away and more will do that in days to come.----a. ghani ismail, 27 November, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
ANWAR IBRAHIM – A POLITICAL QUEST UPSIDE DOWN
Time is reaching a standstill for Anwar Ibrahim. While the clock has turned back to place him in the dock for sodomy once again, the votes he had drawn from the masses to strike the biggest win in history for the Opposition in Malaysia is dwindling at a rate faster than the slide of Dow Jones in Wall Street.
Anwar is in the dock this time on the reverse side of his attempt to deny Najib Tun Razak the chance to become Prime Minister of Malaysia. But Najib has clinched it.
In the wake of Anwar’s ill-will lies a couple of affidavits, one alleging on hearsay that Najib had serially sodomized the murdered Mongolian woman, Altantuya Sharibuu, and the other appearing as a desperate attempt to send Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, to the gallows.
Najib’s political strategist, Abdul Razak Baginda, since freed of the charge of abetment in the murder, has denied Najib and Rosmah had ever known Altantuya.
Razak lifted from the couple the cloud of suspicion Anwar and his sidekick, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, had conjured, giving the breather Najib needs to move on to his destiny, a chance to do as well as his great father had done for the Malays and for Malaysians.
The result is a certain relief especially among members and supporters of Umno who had voted the Opposition on 8 March 2008. Chinese and Indians are returning to the MCA and MIC too.
Most people answered positively when asked whether Malay voters would choose Umno again as they did between 1999 and 2004.
The pendulum had swung one way and then the other in the aftermath of Anwar’s incarceration following charges of corruption and sodomy.
Asked whether they would support Umno after Abdullah Badawi retires from government, Prof. Dr. Isahak Harun from the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Tanjung Malim, said “possibly”, him wishing the new leader would opt to use the Malay language instead of English to teach Science and Mathematics in schools.
Others contacted were quite unhappy with the government’s failure to foster a viable and sustainable Bumiputra (indigens) Commercial and Industrial Community (BCIC) well into the 9th Malaysia (Fiver-Year) Plan.
Former BERNAMA editor-in-chief, Rahman Sulaiman, said Najib is somewhat injured but Umno members and supporters will have to eventually return home to roost. There’s no where else for them to go.
The real forces behind the “re-conversion” of Malay voters must be the fact some non-Malays among members and supporters of the DAP and Anwar’s own Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) kept bombarding Malays and Islam in a frenzy of race-hate.
In the aftermath of this round of the flame-baiting for the communal votes, DAP’s Senior Selangor State Executive Councillor, Teresa Kok, sued a newspaper for RM30 million and RM100 million for what she construed were defamatory reports and a damaging short-story.
Earlier, a couple of dud Molotov-cocktails were tossed into the compound of her family home, a note attached to warn her and everyone else against playing the role of the enfant terrible in the combustible comedy of errors.
Raja Petra, Anwar’s friend from his school days, in his famous blog, Malaysia Today, slammed the Malays and at Islam for reasons people are still seeking to know. He says he is a Bugis, and not Malay.
The point is, there is nothing anyone can do to change the status of the Malays, of Islam and of the National Language, without summoning a two-third majority in parliament and tossing away the relevant clauses from the Constitution.
As a result of the bad political and social tastes, and for asking Who Are The Malays?, the Malays have after years of patience, suddenly turned around and are asking who had been responsible for giving the non-Malays their status as Malaysian citizens?
The Malay rulers themselves have issued caution. Do not question their sovereignty, nor distress their dignity.
The idea of the aggression was to seek for equality between the races and reject the special status accorded by the Constitution to the Malays and to Islam.
Malays simply have to retaliate. They are openly asking the non-Malays in the Opposition, including Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR, to agree to do away with the Social Contract even if there had, in fact, been one. In other words, they want to go back to before British colonization.
In the wake of the new developments someone quickly wrote to remind the people Anwar had made an agreement with the Pas and the DAP not to question the special privileges of the Malays and the position of Islam.
But what would such an agreement be worth? These matters are already enshrined in the Constitution.
Anwar is still baying for a simple majority he could not produce as promised before 16 September 2008, and now “before December,” which is only several days away.
He ought to be reminded the Opposition merely managed to take about 40 percent of the total Malays votes in the 8 March elections, the largest chunks coming from Kelantan and Kedah states.
Umno, which held onto the remaining 60 percent, can and will regain the lost ground in the next general elections or in a snap-election Najib may choose to call before the end of next year, though probably not as well as it had done in 2004.
Even as Umno is grappling to control “money politics” that’s bedeviling the party’s morale, Anwar, it would seem, has failed to control the emotions of his bedfellows, and is now verging upon political bankruptcy.
The charismatic political maestro, his persona screwed, is closing in on his end……. the sage withered from the lakes and the birds no longer sing. ---a. ghani ismail, 20 November, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH - ABDULLAH’S EXIT, NAJIB’S FALL?
A Tale Of Moral Depreciation And Morale Slide In Umno
The Malays are returning to communal politics after the bad flirtation with integration, Except for the pool of young voters who are enthralled by Anwar Ibrahim’s charisma, most will either vote Umno once again or split the votes between Umno and Pas.
Umno has been deprived of moral and historical functions.
After five years of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s unsubstantial leadership, the party which was born to fight British colonization has become “rotten at the core”, a remark and conclusion made by the chairman of the party’s disciplinary committee, Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen, that hit the nail right on the head.
The Malays have had enough of listening to Chinese and Indians who think of themselves as the successors of the British Raj, and therefore, are remaining mentally comprador.
The ceaseless Hate-Malays and Hate-Islam campaign they launched from some years before has finally struck gold.
On Sunday 16 November a forum that discussed the Social Contract convened by Perkasa, decided to tell the non-indigenous Malaysian communities they can reject the Social Contract and end the agony of questioning it. The non-Malays have even been asking who, indeed, are the Malays!
It is clearly a signal that the color-blind days of the Malay Anak Malaysia have ended. I am told most of these good people have decided to revert to their identities as Malays and Muslims.
While it would be a happy hum-along tune for Najib Tun Razak who will become Umno president and Prime Minister at the end of March 2009, Umno is sadly saddled with a gigantic internal corruption.
Facing deep global recession, the party is now having to reach into its heart for what’s left of a historical mission and an ethical purpose to continue being relevant to the Malays.
“It has gone rotten at the core,” said Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen, him charged with the responsibility of taking disciplinary action against “money politics” in Umno, the vote-buying and vote-selling in the party that’s making it a market place for political aspirants who are rich to gain power without political effort or talent.
The disease, erupting about two decades before, reared its head again from the moment Abdullah Badawi took over from Dr. Mahathir. His son-in-law, a new comer, intervened in party and government, becoming number two in the Umno Youth by rewarding contestants who pulled out.
Abdullah was hauled into national prominence as Mr. Clean. The irony and stark contrast of Mr. Clean and Dirty Politics is probably not a matter of nature but a straight character of incompetence, or non-substantial leadership that’s now lazily sauntering to a finish by end of March, a date that’s bad simply because it will take time to come, says his predecessor, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
There was and is an audible sigh of relief when it was decided Abdullah shall not stay on after March. But the question many are asking is why should Abdullah stay on after December when the party’s general assembly should be held?
Abdullah ought to go. Japan has fallen into recession. Commodity prices have fallen from USD147 for a barrel of oil to USD 55 and still falling.
Palm oil, which affects directly a large number of Malaysian farmers and workers has fallen below the critical RM1,500 to around RM1, 450 per ton. It is expected to go down some 46 per cent more by mid-2009.
What’s Abdullah doing about this?
He is doing nothing. Instead, he insisted he should stay for an extra three months from December simply to read the Bills in parliament that will introduce a Judicial Appointment Commission, an independent Anti-Corruption Agency and three other Bills in a state of an economic meltdown that will be the worst Malaysia has endured.
Abdullah can stay for the three months if the Prime Minister-elect, Najib Tun Razak, is given the freehand he needs to quickly put in place the stimulus and fallback packages the country will have to have. We should have already begun counter-trading, for instance.
There will be about 300,000 unemployed Malaysians coming home from Singapore alone.
But how can Najib act freely and take all responsibilities to usher in new policies and to change structures if he is still number two?
Umno reacted to the stresses of party and nation in remarkable somnolence during the recent divisional meetings that nominated Najib as party president without contest.
In more than half of the party’s divisions, it is learned that the members just came and went, leaving the halls and the speeches delivered inside merely a bout of stout words mainly for old men and women.
These oldies came with the belief that the party they love is still the same one they had known before. But it is not.
Umno is now a ruling party of a successful commercial and industrial nation. In the transition moral integrity in the party simply slid off, leaving the idealism in a slough of despond.
Moral integrity virtually caved-in inside Umno, leaving a bleeding wound that can only be medicated by “money politics”.
Members of the newly enriched in the party were known to have spent more than two million Ringgit for positions number one at divisional level. Some among these took vote-bearers on oversea trips until the eve of the elections so opponents cannot reach them.
They were never purged and neither were they disciplined.
Umno members asked, was there collusion, negligence or a blind spot at the top all along?
At the general elections of 8 March 2008 many party members refused to work unless their palms were laced. When that was done some branch and divisional leaders complained the amounts paid were chicken-feed.
The party paid dearly. The Barisan Nasional lost five states and one federal territory on the 8 of March and a lot of members were happy with the outcome.
Umno was not facing an internal revolution. Rather, it was internal revulsion that had caused the party to bleed profusely in the 8 March elections.
Abdullah was seen not only as an incompetent leader but corrupt as well. His family and some friends blatantly became ultra-rich.
They became multi-millionaires - father, son, son-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, cronies and, according to Dr. Mahathir, also his sycophants. Mahathir himself enriched his children and his cronies, Abdullah said. He called Mahathir a Ten Percenter.
The rot at the core of the party had become debilitating. Umno lost moral purpose.
The question before Najib is how can the party recover its moral and historical motives? Alternatively, should he rule as a member of an oligarchy comprising of the ultra-rich in Umno and in Malaysia?
Umno is not ideological and neither is it religiously Islamic like the Pas is. Will Najib turn in a rule of a triumvirate with his cousin, Hishamuddin Hussein Onn and Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz, for a powerful mix of kickapoo to overcome the problems of ideological and moral lack in the party?
But that would put Mahathir in the Big Man’s shoes and he is alleged to have ruined the integrity of the judiciary as well.
This is what Najib will have to resolve along with the impacts of terrible global stagflation (recession with inflation) that has already set and will quickly worsen, with no solution in sight.
This is a systematic breakdown of the world financial order.
It is also a systematic moral depreciation in Umno, and a certain erosion of party morale Najib will have to somehow restore.
Which way Najib navigates once he is in power will finally determine whether or not the majority of the Malays will want Umno, or go to the Pas instead.
People will not be impressed by a simple communal pretense. Being ultra-Malay is of no value. What will he do to translate that into policies and goodies? Will he reaffirm what his great father, Tun Abdul Razak, did for the Malays?
The PKR of Anwar Ibrahim is sadly viewed as the cause of the mud-slide the Malays are facing from the comprador mentality of some non-Malays in Malaysia. Some Malays say PKR opened the flood-gates. ----a. ghani ismail, 18 Nov. 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
HO, HO, HO! - REACHING INTO THE HEAVENS FOR A BOTTLE OF WINE,
Kassim Ahmad And His Autobiography, Mencari Jalan Pulang – Daripada Sosialisme Kepada Islam
It’s about reaching for an ending of a normal kind for an extraordinary lifetime the former Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia (PSRM) president, Kassim Ahmad, has put into a book Mencari Jalan Pulang, an autobiography that’s a full-bodied jug of inebriating wine.
While it ought to answer the critical questions why he left the PSRM after 18 years at the helm and then joined Umno, the book answered little of those mysteries of Kassim; writer, scholar and mainly a gadfly with a voracious appetite for ideas and an equally powerful enthusiasm to let loose those ideas into a society that has been reluctant to accept them.
But the ideas were often imported along with their masters, forcing Kassim having then to look for a group of writers to help him weather the storms he brewed or to explain to society the abstruse philosophies they brought.
After he had left PSRM he first launched Dr. Rashad Khalifah and his rejection in toto of the Hadis (Prophetic Traditions). It meant to demolish a basic structure of Islam, the Hadis being a source of Islamic Law.
Rashad was soon to be killed in his own mosque in Tucson, Arizona.
Kassim, himself knowing less than he should about Islamic culture, was visibly shaken by the event and to stand clear he found Lyndon LaRouche. He soon dragged the ideas of the man into the country.
This was a useful move. LaRouche’s movement not only served Kassim with good ideas but would prove useful as an American connection that did not appreciate Anwar Ibrahim.
LaRouche was leader of a Quaker political movement which later became a faction of the Democrats. His ideas were and are revolutionary, threading the development of political, economic and scientific ideas carefully from sources in the Greek beginning to reach for a future humanity.
But Kassim, in the process of these flights to fulfill some emptiness in his life, lost his new friends and lieutenants, something he seemed to find difficult to explain in his book, and perhaps also to himself.
Kassim’s trouble was he could not be genuine in Umno however much he tried. He was primarily a socialist thinker and leader who should have remained in PSRM where he had been at home.
For reasons of his own he left the PSRM in 1984, explaining in his book he had been meeting Umno president and premier, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who, though reluctant at first, was later to agree to consider the possibility of PSRM joining the Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition.
But did the socialist party know of his meetings with Dr. M or had Kassim taken matters into his own hands and then expected the party to simply agree to abide by his edicts?
Some PSRM members say “Kassim stole PSRM’s money and he had to flee”, a metaphorical description that stuck on Kassim like a leach that would not let go. He had leapt away like a frog after leading them for 18 years, and they preferred him dead.
They regretted the years some of them had spent in political detention.
In one case a few interrupted this writer’s speech to tell the forum four members of the audience had been in detention in Kamunting “because of being loyal to Kassim”.
Now that the leader had joined Umno, what were they supposed to do? Should they all hug, kiss and bid their past goodbye as Kassim had done?
Were they all merely to fall in line behind him and together aggress against the Hadis and then study Lyndon LaRouche and assiduously read the Executive Intelligence Journal of Lyn’s outfit?
Even if he tried to explain he had lost faith in Socialism, the image he had built of himself as a socialist he cannot erase for as long as the men and women he had led remained alive.
These workers and peasants haunted him. Some spent more time than Kassim in detention, him incarcerated from 1976 to 1981. Many of them believed he broke down in detention and so he changed his color and his soul as well.
I was to witness a little of this distressing abyss in Kassim’s life after he called me through Dr. Chandra Muzaffar to help put right his writings on the Hadis he presented in a series of seminars at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Chandra was later to remark Kassim never acknowledged the contributions we made to help him with those papers that became his book on the Hadis.
Now, in his autobiography he wrote to say those meetings we had in Chandra’s house or at his office in 1985 were about Islamic Reformism.
We discussed that for only one or two days. The other times we met were about the Hadis and on what we deemed proper concerning the subject.
Kassim did not know enough about the subject. He had not known then about the Medinah Charter (Shahifah Medinah) and the treaties, letters and pledges the Prophet had made and which defined the bases and limits of Islamic diplomacy.
He had also failed to take into consideration the Islamic financial institutions and instruments that were determined mainly by the Hadis.
These institutions and instruments are today offering the best alternatives to the world that’s wracked by a systematic financial breakdown.
LaRouche predicted the breakdown from decades before but he had nothing to say about Islamic financial institutions, instruments and products, which are measures of civilized progress, no less.
Kassim kept telling a few of us he had been meeting the premier Dr. Mahathir and Dr. Mahathir agreed with his views. About what?
What would the premier’s agreement do for him and for us? How would that help him become a Muslim reformist in or outside Umno? When had Dr. M become a prophet of Islam, someone asked him.
His friend and business partner, Hamid Merican, became so fed up with Kassim’s talk about his meetings with Dr. M he finally told Kassim to simply ask the premier for a fat contract or shut up.
It is now clear from his book that Dr. M’s position was the same as that of the rest of us. He accepted authentic hadis and therefore had no intention of damning the structure of the Shariah (Islamic Law).
In the meetings with Chandra Muzafar and this writer, Kassim was confronted with instances when the law had only the Hadis to stand upon and we insisted he change his views.
He finally did but would revert to his iconoclasm time and again, whence we called it a day. He had committed himself too widely to retract. He had cast the dye on himself.
My friend Kassim had nothing to put in the spaces he was causing to rupture by rejecting the Hadis and blowing apart a basic structure of Islam.
The liberation he was after was possibly more meaningful to his own intellectual and spiritual maturity rather than relevant in the game-play of forces to shift Malays and Malaysians into a new deal, or in the world at large.
He was merely playing a game of his own shadows meaning to show to his friends he is still the same Kassim they knew but in a different guise and wishing to remove the opiate from inside the anatomical system.
I argued against Kassim’s blind distaste for Islamic traditionalism, the time being the period when Muslims were putting together the Islamic financial institutions with which I was a little involved.
Regulations defining these financial institutions and instruments are mainly sourced from the Hadis.
Kassim kept insisting Islam was merely available as theocracies and refused to think as I did in terms of “theological states”, such as Japan and Israel, or of India under the BJP. In any case, how many theocracies are there in Islam today for Kassim to make his general assumption?
It would seem like Kassim has not been able to forget me because of the disagreements. He now mentions me in this book too.
In page 207 he alleged I had been a member of Uthman el-Muhammady’s group at Tar Tujuh (sic) in Pasir Mas in 1974-75 and we (Uthman and I) were waiting for the world to end.
The facts in the book are not true. No such thing happened.
Uthman’s group was probably wishing to build a community which would develop into something akin to the Darul Arqam of Ustaz Asha’ari Muhammad, but it failed. The leader, one Abdullah Sharif, did not measure to the height of Asha’ari.
I was never a member of Uthman’s outfit. I went to Pasir Mas to join Abdul Wahab (an economist, since deceased) and Sharifuddin (an Accountant) to begin a business base and a school.
Wahab was soon to fall terminally ill and we shelved our project.
But we had become a strong enough force to threaten the Pas under Asri Muda and it reached the point when he demanded I leave Kelantan in 24 hours.
Asri couldn’t lift a spoonful of rice to his mouth to feed himself after more than 75 percent of his party had left him from the first quarter of 1974. We could have taken half of Kelantan in the next general elections, hands down.
You cannot do without Islam in Malaysia at that time. You cannot do without Islam in the world now, especially not when the geopolitical structures and designs will have to change with the financial and economic crises.
Kassim’s cannonball against Islamic structure in 1984-5 came as a bolt from the blue and many who knew my friend, Kassim, wondered whether or not he was having a difficulty to live with himself after leaving PSRM and hence, he was tossing a tantrum.
In Mencari Jalan Pulang Kassim admitted he kept losing his friends. He said the reason was the pressure from the controversies he enjoyed.
I doubt if that had been at all a reason. Rather, he was losing his friends because they were seeing him as laboring to cover a deep gash in his life and he was not genuine in seeking to form a group of ideological juggernauts in or outside Umno to combat Islamic conservatism or extremism.
Deciding to quit PSRM after 18 years at its helm must be an injury that would leave behind a showy scar. That scarification will show on the members of the party as well, and especially those who had lived through detentions. Their families were ruined “because of Kassim”, some said.
Many thought my friend, Kassim, seemed unable to see beyond himself. But a flight of the sort that he had done would cause many to simply flop on the floor, blabbering insanely to be convinced they had done the right thing.
How does anyone dump 18 years of party leadership on the pretext of philosophical immaturity? Can the person become useful other than as a writer and an agent of other movements after that?
Kassim quit Umno in 1996, believing it’s time to let the past rest and the present come to relax in the shadow of his doubts.
This autobiography of Kassim, published in his 75th year, is his own description of the means a prodigal son had chosen for his return journey from the wilds of philosophical search and ideological conflicts to come to rest in a pleasant country home.
It is very interesting reading. Read the book, Mencari Jalan Pulang, Dari Sosialisme Kepada Islam. ----a. ghani ismail, 13 Nov. 2008
Ps. The food supplements with his book in the picture above is to tell Kassim to stay fit and to keep writing. He’s only 75!