Sunday, 10 February 2013

Gong Xi Fa Cai

恭禧發財, here we are, celebrating another new year, the Lunar New Year.

In Malaysia we had New Year and Maal Hijrah earlier and now we celebrate what is known here as Chinese New Year. Xin Nian Kuai Le, 新年快乐. The new year will be the year of the snake. If I'm not mistaken, I was born in such year as well. Hmmm, interesting.

Many of us are excited when starting something. Even for golfers, a great t-off would make a golfer very happy. However, when we look at how performance of golfers are measured, it is about how a game ends. How many stroke does one need to complete a round of golf. It is about how things ended rather that how they started.

While we certainly deserve to celebrate the coming of any important milestone, we should not forget the essence of the milestone itself. A new year is a new beginning although it does not necessarily erase whatever misfortune or tragedy which happened in the year before. In fact we should reflect whether any misgiving that we experienced in the past was totally fated or it was due to our own doing. Electing a wrong leader would consequently result in us suffering the leadership of somebody who should not be there in the first place. So, rather than complaining about the person, in a new year we should try to learn how to select a person that could be trusted while being competent in the first place.

The way we choose the paths of our future would influence the future. I hope by this time we should have learnt that if we are not careful in deciding the path that will lead towards prosperity, don't blame others if we don't get what we want. If we want things the short cut way, don't blame others if the sense of achievement is only for a short while. In the age and era where many things could be faked, we need to be able to differentiate between sustainable achievements from fake sense of success.

Let me give you a simple example. If we fancy something, we could buy the stuff. We can buy the stuff using the money that we earn or we could borrow the money from somebody else. Therefore, being given money per se does not mean that we are a successful person. If we borrow, we need to pay back. If we are unable to pay back in the future, we will suffer the consequences. So money here money there does not make a society a successful society. Beware of salesmen with offer you products which could disappear as soon as you provide the sales person what he or she wants.

So much of ranting, I hope I don't spoil your mood to celebrate. Remember, celebration  is normally shorter that the period which we experience real life.

I pray to Allah all of us will be accorded prosperity, success and good health in the new Lunar New Year.

Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Are We Moving Backwards?

The news about 14 pigmy elephants poisoned in Sabah recently really bothers me. While the facts behind this unfortunate incidence are still being investigated, the fact that people do not have any feeling of guilt to commit such despicable act reflects the truth about how low we could go as a society.

Source: CNN
When we talk about achieving Vision 2020, many would be talking about the target GDP per capita or the wealth that will be enjoyed when the target is achieved. I believe, many do not really know the real aspiration. I tried to Google the vision but could not find the link to any official source. Perhaps what is recorded by Wikipedia here would remind us about the vision.

One of the challenges envisaged before we could achieve the vision is to establish a fully moral and ethical society (Challenge 4). The poisoning incidence certainly does not reflect a society which observe high moral values. If endangered animals could be killed, perhaps for profit motives, then we are really sinking towards the dark side of humanity. This is what Allah revealed in the Quran "We have certainly created man in the best of stature; Then We return him to the lowest of the low, Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they will have a reward uninterrupted (AT-Tin: 4-6).

Certainly I am not the expert to identify the root causes of this moral decay but as some had said the past, a fish roots from the head. Maybe those who are looked upon by the society have not been walking the talk when it comes to moral and ethical issues. Some say nice things on the advice of their media advisors but behave the opposite, reflecting the real values that they believe in.

As a society, we cannot fault our leaders. They are up there because we sent them there. Their values reflect the values believed by the majority of our people who are eligible to decide. So, if we feel the society is sick, it could be because we are sick ourselves, maybe not physically but values-wise.

Have a great day!