Khamis, September 16, 2010

KEADILAN Election 2010: One hot battle on the cards

dari ChangkatNingkeBTP

Article from Joceline Tan of The Star

PKR is facing its most happening election since its formation and the high stakes contest between its star Azmin Ali and high-flying lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has taken centrestage.

THE temperature in PKR is rising. The fight for the party’s deputy president post has become the hot topic at the Hari Raya gatherings.

Some people have been all hot under the collar over the accusations and counter-accusations going on between supporters of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and Azmin Ali.

As such, when secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution was hospitalised last week, some thought he had crumpled under the pressure of the party’s first direct elections.
The top man’s preference: Anwar’s legal hurdles will play a big part in determining whether he prefers Azmin (left) or Zaid (right) as the next deputy president.

Saifuddin had been travelling all over the country - Perlis one day, Sabah the next, as he put it - to make preparations for the division meetings which will start in a week’s time.

By the third week of Ramadan, while the blood pressure of others in the party was shooting up, his blood pressure dived and he landed in hospital where doctors said he was also badly dehydrated.

Poor Saifuddin was probably suffering from political fatigue.

PKR is facing its most happening election since its formation in 1999.

This is the first party election based on the one-member-one-vote system and there has been a deluge of nominations for contests at the division level. The supreme council posts are also likely to see a crush of nominations.

But nothing has captured the interest of people inside and outside the party as much as the contest for the deputy president post between Azmin Ali and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
Johari: Supports Azmin because he has gone through hell for the party.

They are two big personalities with tall ambitions, deep pockets and they are claiming the political endorsement of different members of the powerful Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim family.

The intellectuals love to go on about how politics should be about issues and policies. But the reality is that a lot of politics on the ground tends to boil down to personalities and it is no different in PKR.

The fight is very much about the personalities of the two men, their histories and their ties with those around them.

Azmin is being portrayed as a party man, a loyalist not only to Anwar but to the party struggle, someone who has been there from the start of the Reformasi movement.

Said Kedah strongman and Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul: “He has been through hell and back for the party. They humiliated him, made him produce his two-year-old son in court, they said it was not his child, all not true. How many people would have put up with that? But he never left.

“We’re not saying Zaid is not good. He was a minister; we welcome him but he has never been in opposition politics. We need more time to assess him. Generals must move up the ranks; they cannot command the troops overnight.”

Azmin’s edge is that he has a track record in the party. It is not an unblemished record but it is there, nevertheless.

He has shown that he is a team player and had dutifully pulled out twice from the contest for the No. 2 post before when asked by Anwar.
Saifuddin: Probably suffering from some degree of political fatigue.

Zaid was welcomed into the party like a hero after he quit his minister’s post over the Government’s use of the ISA. It was apparent from day one that he was not there to be a foot soldier for he immediately moved into a role articulating issues that cut across party lines.

He is an intellectual; he thinks on his feet and is very articulate and persuasive no matter how complex an issue. But he is also all too human and his drinking and horse-racing have become political issues.

He is not a hypocrite about his liberal lifestyle and view but unfortunately Malay society can be very judgemental. That is what he is now struggling with.

He is also fighting the perception that he is an over-ambitious parachutist who is aiming to take over the party after barely a year.

Loyalty to the party has never been more crucial given all those people who jumped ship over the last one year. Members are asking: if he can walk out of Umno, what is there to stop him leaving PKR?

Zaid was reportedly livid about the show of force by the MPs and assemblymen aligned to Azmin earlier this week.

The gloves are off

Since then, there has been a blitz of articles running down Azmin in the news portal which is closely tied to Zaid’s interest.

One article titled “Party over in Sabah, Sarawak if Azmin wins” suggests that East Malaysia will abandon PKR if Azmin becomes the No. 2.

A letter that Azmin reportedly wrote to the Selangor Mentri Besar objecting to Zaid as the candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election has also made its way into the portal. Among some of the reasons listed were that Zaid could not be trusted; he drinks and gambles; he is vengeful; his religious credentials are in doubt; and he had sued PAS over the hudud issue.

Anwar’s politician daughter Nurul Izzah has openly aligned herself to Zaid.

“Nurul Izzah is 100% with Zaid, or to put it more accurately, she is 100% against Azmin,” said a party insider.

Insiders said Anwar is uncomfortable with Nurul Izzah’s stand on the No. 2 fight but he is even more concerned that she may go for a vice-president post.

He thinks it is too early for Nurul Izzah to make such a big move and that it may alienate people in the party - father the supreme leader, mother the president and daughter going for vice-president.

The most-asked question is, who does Anwar favour? Is he backing Azmin as claimed or is he is still in two minds whether Syed Husin should let go or stay on another term?

Saifuddin, who has spent some one-to-one time with Anwar in the last few weeks, had asked the PKR leader if he was going to support anyone or any line-up.

“He said he is too old for all this. He said he has seen so much dirty politics after 17 years in Umno that he no longer wants to get involved in this sort of game. I believe he will leave it to the members to decide,” said Saifuddin.

Actually, that is a classic Anwar kind of answer - neither a yes or no, and not even a maybe.

The perception is that Azmin would not be moving so boldly without the blessing of Anwar. Azmin’s relationship with Anwar is such that while he can whisper into Anwar’s ears, he will also do as Anwar says. That is the depth of their relationship.

Azmin’s campaign style is vastly different from that of Zaid’s. He has a lot of people willing to speak up on his behalf and come out in the open to state their support.

Support from the Yang Berhormats has given an important boost to Azmin’s campaign even though the votes will be decided by a wider circle of people.

Zaid’s campaign, for someone of his stature, is rather too much on the defensive with too much play on the underdog status.

His strategy has been to pre-empt issues that the other side may bring up later in the campaign. He is meeting people on the ground but his campaign has been most visible via the Internet.

Different personalities

Even their respective blogs are a world apart.

Azmin’s blog has a very PKR feel about it and his album has photos of him and his wife in Mecca, both of them looking like any other pakcik and makcik from the kampung even though they live in the same posh neighbourhood as Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Zaid’s blog is very much about the man of the world that he is. Although Haji Zaid performed his Haj last year, there are no pictures of him in Mecca but there are lots of photos of him and Tok Guru Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Both men are presenting their religious credentials in their own way.

Zaid’s blog recently acquired a more contemporary look as he asks his readers to “Follow me as I work towards a better future for the people of Malaysia.”

This is a medium where he can really showcase his intellect and opinions because, in person, he is rather cold and aloof. Zaid has oodles of IQ but seems short of EQ or emotional intelligence.

Fortunately for him, Azmin is not exactly overflowing with EQ either.

The battle between Azmin and Zaid is happening in a big way on the Internet but it will be determined mainly by Selangor, Sabah, Penang and Perak where the bulk of PKR members are located.

The fight will also have a Malay flavour given that 55% of PKR member are Malays. And now that the holy month has given way to festivities, the gloves will come off and the real show is about to start.

Khamis, September 02, 2010

Checklist - The Last 10 Days & Nights of Ramadhan

dari ChangkatNingkeBTP

In this blessed month of Ramadan, we have now come to the grand finale – the last ten days of Ramadan that are even more blessed than the rest of Ramadan. In it is a night that Quran tells us is better than 1000 months (yes, months – not days).

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

"There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” Narrated by al-Nasa’i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999.

So, in preparation for the grand finale, here is a checklist of some of the things that we can all do to make the remaining days of Ramadan work to our advantage –

1) Get in high gear for the next 10 nights and days –

Time is of the essence. Every moment counts. Whatever you need to do for the next ten days to make the most in Ibada, good deeds, reciting Quran, dhikr, making dua, etc., rewards are going to be multiplied. No one knew about the importance of these days more than the prophet (saws). Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that when the last ten days of Ramadan began, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would stay up at night, wake his family and tie his lower garment tight. According to Ahmad and Muslim: he would strive hard in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan as he did not do at other times.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said “When Ramadan would come, the Messenger of Allah would say,

Verily, the month of Ramadan has come to you all. It is a blessed month, which Allah has obligated you all to fast. During it the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are shackled. In it there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good, then he has truly been deprived.)” An-Nasa’i recorded this same Hadith.

If we lose this opportunity, we get our next opportunity next year – assuming we are still around and are in good health and shape to make use of it. Even if we are – we have the past years’ sins on our shoulders and life’s normal trials and tribulations to face the coming year. So, there is no better time to ask Allah to make all that easier than NOW.

2) Get a Quran and recite as often as you can –

A few lines on this post can’t even come close to explaining the benefits and virtues of Quran. It is proven in the saheeh Sunnah that the Quran will intercede for those who read it at night, as Ahmad (6626) narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

Fasting and the Quran will intercede for a person on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say, ‘O Lord, I deprived him of his food and his desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.’ And the Quran will say: ‘I deprived him of his sleep at night so let me intercede for him.’ Then they will intercede.” Narrated by Ahmad; classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Jami’, no. 3882.

Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet said,

The example of a believer who recites the Qur’an is that of a citron (a citrus fruit) which is good in taste and good in smell. And the believer who does not recite the quran is like a date which has a good taste but no smell. And the example of an impious person who recites the Qur’an is that of Ar-Rihana (an aromatic plant) which smells good but is bitter in taste. And the example of an impious person who does not recite the quran is that of a colocynth which is bitter in taste and has no smell.” (Book #93, Hadith # 649)

As is stated in the hadeeth narrated by ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with them both), in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

Whoever recites ten aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will not be recorded as one of the forgetful. Whoever recites a hundred aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will be recorded as one of the devout, and whoever prays a thousand aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will be recorded as one of the muqantareen (those who pile up good deeds).” (Reported by Abu Dawood and Ibn Hibbaan. It is a hasan report. Saheeh al-Targheeb, 635).

3) If your sins are holding you to move forward, this is the time to get them forgiven –

First the bad news – In Musnad Ahmad it is narrated that Thawbaan said: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said:

A man is deprived of provision (Rizq) because of the sins that he commits.’” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 4022, classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah).

And now for the good news –

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.”

4) What to say on Laylat al-Qadr –

One of the best dua’s that can be recited on Laylat al-Qadr is that which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her). It was narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who classed it as saheeh, that ‘A’ishah said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, If I know which night is Laylat al-Qadr, what should I say?” He said: “Say: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb al-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are All-Forgiving and You love forgiveness so forgive me).”

5) Get in the class of the Pious People –

Allah has described the pious as follows (interpretation of the meaning):

They used to sleep but little by night (invoking their Lord (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope). [Quran: Surah Adh-Dhariyat (17)]

And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness, [Quran: Surah Adh-Dhariyat (18)]

6) Finally……

Think of all that you need to ask Allah for and ask Him now. If you haven’t before, this is the time to connect with Him and feel closer to Him. And when you do during these last ten nights and days of this Ramadan, you would want to do this again and again – even after the month is over.

And finally, when you are in a state of prayers and worship, please open your heart for others as well and please do remember your brothers and sisters in your prayers. Remember what the Prophet said:

“The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.” Reported by Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi

May we all make the most of the last ten nights and days of Ramadan…

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