Monday, May 15, 2017

FBSHApost@10 Mei 2017: PUISI #9/2017 UMNO

UMNO

Hari itu 
11 Mei 1946 kau dilahirkan

Menjalin kesepaduan

Itu satu kebenaran
Dinaung bawah bumbung kedaulatan
Bergema nationalisma wadah perjuangan
Kau tiada apa
Melainkan semangat
Menebus maruah umat 
terikat dibelenggu 
penjajahan ketidakadilan penindasan
kau merintis kehormatan
untuk agama dan bangsa
Gentar penjajah kerana 
Melayu merapat barisan
Dalam satu wadah dipanggil perjuangan
Suci dan tulus bendera
dan layar peraknya
Meneduh dan bekerjasama
dengan semua
Penerima inilah negara kita
UMNO payung hormat
Ia menterjemah daulat
Bangsawan dan rakyat
UMNO marakan kita dalam satu rumpun bangsa
Walaupun berbeza
Hidup bebas merdeka itulah asasnya
Tidak terhina dan dihina
11 Mei keramatnya
Berkorban dalam satu perjalanan
Ke destinasi mulia
Maju kehadapan
UMNO bahtera semua
Kukuh dan mantap berdepan
badai dan lautan
Bukan satu laongan
Ketegasan dan keberanian
Pulanglah ke pelabuhan
Membela kehormatan
Luhur dalam keikhlasan 
Untuk seluruh jelata yang mengharapkan..,.
UMNO....wadah tertinta
Satu perjuangan mengharung kebebasan



FBSHApost@10 Mei 2017

FBSHApost@10 Mei 2017: PUISI #8/2017

Bunga-bunga menghiasi taman-taman dunia
Tenang dan damai
Merenung warna-warna 
Merah kuning biru putih dan berbagai keindahan
Menular dan mendakap kehijauan
Menakjub dan mengkagum
Sedang angin membayu sepoi-sepoi bahasa
Rindu pada insan 
Menghulur salaman
Mengharap pentas 
di situ 
tiada kezaliman dan keganasan
Menikmati keindahan ciptaan 
Tiada kebencian

JREast 
General Education Centre
Shin Sharikawa, Japan
10/5/17, 4.15 pm




FBSHApost@8 Mei 2017: PUISI #7/2017

Fakir melukis kanvas hidup
Berbagai-bagai
Beruntai-untai
Harta, pangkat dan kesukuan
Sarat membuncing kehidupan 
Tiada cerita dari suara hati
Tentang keseimbangan dan kesamarataan
Ia semua idealisma aktivis dan ilmuan
Tiada kesampaian
Hanya lontaran zaman
Bila perjuangan jumud
Mencari kesenangan dalam kehidupan
Bercelaruan retorika tanpa haluan dan amalan
Seperti buih-buih berapongan 
Di permukaan lautan
Fakir berfikir-fikir 
Tiada nokhtah bila rela diperhambakan



Al Shifaq 
Bukit Damansara
8/5/17, 7:55 pg

FBSHApost@8 Mei 2017: PUISI #6/2017

Jika kau pandang
tanpa lihat
Pasti akan hilang
Kau perlu perhati 
Supaya akan menghayati

Alam, persekitaran dan insan 
Senantiasa berdampingan
Masing-masing ada dorongan
Tinggalkan warisan dan kenangan
Terpahat pada warisan
Untuk terus tersimpan bersama ingatan dan perhatian

Al Shifaq 
Bukit Damansara
7/5/17, 7:00 ptg

FBSHApost@8 May 2017: Trajectory of personalities in politics

I was in Jakarta recently and was talking to a media man who told me today it is the "person" who drives politics and not the political parties. To him, the "person" will determine and shape the inclination or slant of the political party itself. 

According to him, these realities were recently exemplified in the GEs in US, Canada, France & Indonesia. The individuals just project their images and the political parties will fall in line to support them. Trajectory of personalities becomes a core or significant factor for success in the election.


FBSHApost@8 May 2017

FBSHApost@6 Mei 2017: Rapatkan Barisan Perpaduan

Masa depan kita bergantung pada kita. Selagi ada ketahanan dan kemantapan politik, ekonomi, keselamatan dan sosio-budaya, tiada siapa boleh memperlekehkan negara. 

Justeru, rapatkan barisan perpaduan walaupun ada kelainan dan perbezaan.


FBSHApost@6 Mei 2017

FBSHApost@3 Mei 2017: Oder Baru Kepentingan Nasional

Malaysia is a beautiful country with all its diversities and colourful people and cultures.

Persaingan, pertandingan, mengadu domba berada di satu laluan....pertembungan dan konflik lumrah globalisasi. Ekonomi, pasaran dan kapitalisme menafikan hak asasi, jenayah kemanusiaan dan genocide. Kedaulatan dan tidak campur tangan lebih utama dari penganiayaan dan penindasan. 

Oder baru kepentingan nasional, ke mana agaknya arahnya?.

FBSHApost@3 Mei 2017

FBSHApost@1 Mei 2017: Selamat Hari Pekerja

Hari pekerja disambut sebagai tanda kehormatan kerajaan, rakyat dan pengurusan serta pengiktirafan terhadap sumbangan pekerja untuk pembangunan eknonomi dan kesejahteraan negara serta sumbangan mereka kepada kejayaan pentadbiran kerajaan dan industri negara ini. 

Justeru pentingnya ada keseimbangan dalam agihan keuntungan dan kekayaan negara. Semua pihak perlu mengamalkan urus tadbir yang amanah dan berintegriti. 

Salam Hari Pekerja.


FBSHApost@1 Mei 2017

FBSHApost@30 April 2017

Apa yang lebih penting dalam hidup dan persahabatan, harta atau hati dan jiwa yang bersih dan jujur? Pilihannya berada pada kita masing-masing.


FBSHApost@30 April 2017

FBSHApost@29 April 2017

Setiap insan memiliki kebahagiaan yang kadang kala tidak tercerna dan hanya akan tercetus dengan kehadiran pihak kedua atau ketiga. Justeru, carilah pelangi keceriaan disepanjang hidup untuk menerangi akhirat kita.


FBSHApost@29 April 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

FBSHApost@17 April 2017: Malaysia's foreign policy and national interests

My foreign ministry days of over nine years have so many interesting anecdotes and challenges from day one on the first week of January of 1999 when I took over the position from Abdullah Badawi who was appointed the DPM. 

It began with a farewell dinner for Abdullah coupled with a welcoming event for me. At the beginning, Pak Lah -as he is fondly called or known, made it clear that the Ministry under me would be differently managed. He even went on to say that I've short fuse. I didn't know what he meant or should I take it as a compliment or was it a warning to Wisma officials not to take things for granted or take it business as usual. 

Albeit my response was sublimed as I was trying to understand what was expected of me by the boss. Frankly I didn't know how I should manage this Ministry after having heard so many negative indicators form various outside sources. I served almost a complete five year term as a Defense Minister. Both of these Ministries function under different dynamics and environment. One is preparing for war even though there is never going to be a war or conflict. 

Its profile is to prevent other countries from having any idea to attack Malaysia. In the Foreign Ministry, my role would be as a front liner in the defense of Malaysia's National Interest through diplomacy or engagements at the bilateral and multilateral levels. 

We were busy at ASEAN, OIC, G77, G 15, NAM and of course due to our assertive foreign policy at the UN and its various agencies. Malaysia was always there at the front line, championing the course of small developing countries, Islamic countries and South South interests against the domination of the northern countries. 

The objective then was to create a more balanced international order and system that practice fairness and justice and fighting against double standards and selectively. We are a small nation but our voice was heard, loud and clear.

(To be continued).

FBSHApost@17 April 2017

FBSHApost@16 April 2017: Hidayah Milik Allah

Salah satu unsur utama menjadi pemimpin atau pendakwah adalah untuk menyampaikan iaitu tabligh... cerita kebenaran secara konsisten. Jangan berasa kecewa atau naik berang kalau orang tidak mahu terima. Cari strategi lain bagi menunjukkan kebenaran yang disampaikan. InsyaAllah dengan doa Allah berikan petunjuk kepada mereka yang menolak kebenaran. Mengikut ustaz pada kuliah subuh pagi ini, hidayah itu bukan hak kita tapi hak Allah yang menentukan siapa yang diberikan hidayah... Wallahhu a'lam.

FBSHApost@16 April 2017

FBSHApost@13 April 2017: Dasar Agihan Negara

Malaysia negara kaya, ekonomi berkembang maju. Kadar pertumbuhan ekonomi tinggi.... banyak bank dan syarikat menikmati keuntungan tinggi...paras kemiskinan rendah...negara aman dan stabil.... yang perlu kita berwaspada jangan negara kaya tapi secara relatifnya rakyat miskin... mestilah diagihkan keuntungan kepada pekerja dan rakyat... dasar agihan mesti dikukuhkan.

FBSHApost@13 April 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017

FBSHApost@5 April 2017: Melayu


Saya fikir kadang kita suka kutuk bangsa dan negara sehingga rasa seolah terlalu hina dan tidak ada yang baik ada pada kita....kalau pencapaian bagus tenguk Singapura dan kalau soal kaum tenguk orang Cina. Di mana letaknya orang Melayu dan Islam.


Nasib baik majoriti negara ini Melayu...orang lain dapat menikmati semua serta berjaya dan negara stabil kerana ketaatan dan kesabaran orang Melayu....fikir-fikirkan...

FBSHApost@5 April 2017

FBSHApost@3 April 2017: Ceramah Ustaz Kazim

Ustaz Kazim kata dalam ceramahnya pada 29/3/17 hari Rabu di Masjid Saidina Umar Ibni Khatab, Bukit Damansara, KL, kalau umat Islam hendak menjadi masyarakat Albab ia perlu ada tiga kualiti penting.... ia itu lihat, dengar dan fikir bersandarkan Al-Quran & Sunnah, kerana itulah asas tamadun dan kejayaan umat Islam di masa lampau.

FBSHApost@3 April 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FBSHApost@27 Mac 2017: Peringatan mengenai Susah dan Senang

Semalam ceramah uztaz menyentuh tentang kehidupan. Kehidupan mengandungi dua elemen penting yang perlu kita harungi dengan tabah dan tawadduk. Iaitu senang dan susah. Tiap-tiapnya ada hikmah tersendiri. Bila senang takut kita terpisah dari mendekati Allah. Bila susah kita menginsafi hubungan kita dengan Allah. Ahli sufi dan orang-orang yang sungguh alim takut pada senang. Ingat pada surah Al-Sharh Allah beri ingatan mengenai senang dan susah. 

Wallahu a'lam.


FBSHApost@27 Mac 2017

FBSHApost@27 Mac 2017: PUISI #5/2017

Menular fikiran
Jasad dan roh masih bersama
Cuba mengejar masa yang tidak menunggu sesiapa
Kuasa ciptaan manusia
Dan kuasa hak mutlak Allah tidaklah sama

Satu kekal satu lagi sementara
Sering lalai dan leka
Cuba membetulkan yang lama
Ternoda dengan kepoyaan dunia
Mengilai dan berdansa seolah hidup selamanya
Mengejar masa tidak mungkin terdaya
Betulkan yang buruk
Mengisi kekurangan sepanjang detik hari
Tidak mungkin berupaya
Mohon keampunan dari yang empunya
Berbicara kuasa dan kekuatan
Amaran insan tetapi jangan lupa pada amaran tuhan
Yang membuat catitan
Memberi contoh dan ketegasan yang tiada sangkalan
Kerahmatannya luas
Namun kemungkaran menjemput azab pedih tidak terkira
Semuanya makhluk rekaan Ilahi
Yang memberi tempoh
Jangan dirempuh 
Tiada kuasa mengatasinya
Kaya harta menimbun bagaimana
Tinggi pangkat dan darjat
Darjat kehormatan satu anugerah pemberian
Mencuba iman dan amalan
Mungkinkah disaki-baki kehidupan 
Bisa menampal kekurangan
Kepincangan dan kesalahan
Tidak patut bermegah
Segala yang diberi boleh diambil semula
Bila roh dan jasad dipisahkan
Dimasa yang pasti
Tidak mungkin tidak mungkin
Terfikir-fakir masa yang telah berlalu
Mana dapat dikitar semula
Hanya memohon keampunan dan keredhaan dari Nya
Bagi selamat di akhirat
Tidak terhumban terkeluar dari umat Muhammad
Yang bertimbun shafaat...
Hidup sederhana syurga menunggu
Mendapat ketenangan dunia akhirat selesa selamanya

Shifaq 
27/3/17, 10:28 pm


Monday, March 27, 2017

FBSHApost@23 March 2017: Global Transformation Forum, KLCC, 22-23 March 2017

What do we learn from the second Global Transformation Forum on 22 to 23 March 2017 organised by PEMANDU and supported by the top Malaysian Corporate Organisations?

For certain it was very successful as it was able to attract participation of renowned speakers, moderators and participants. Inter-alia it came out with several notable conclusions as follows: 

  1. Leaders must be transformational & be willing to lead the change.
  2. Exposition on spiritual genetics.
  3. Dream the impossible dream.
  4. Be right & do the right thing. 
  5. Failures are good experiences to learn from. 
  6. Be what you want to be & pursue it. 
  7. Be confident and positive. 
These are not exhaustive but pertinent summation of some of the inspirational lessons shared by the entrepreneurial gurus based on their personal experiences. That's what according to them transformation is all about.
Regret that the participation fee was on the high side.



FBSHApost@23 March 2017

FBSHApost@19 March 2017: The Burman consider themselves superior

Myanmar has decided to be a purist Buddhist state to the exclusion of others. Don't be misled; this is not Buddhism. They don't have any sense of moderation, mercy or compassion to commit violence against others because it's not one of them. To them it's their birth right not to accept others and they are not remorseful on what they have done. For that reason, no one has been stopped from circulating hate or violence and others. The whole population is in absolute silence without any sense of guilt. Even ASSK just brushed aside any suggestion of wrong doing. The Burman consider themselves superior... they rewrote their history.


FBSHApost@19 March 2017

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON ROHINGYA CRISIS: CURRENT INITIATIVE OF OIC AND THE ROLE OF MUSLIM WORLD


Organised by the International Institute for Muslim Unity in collaboration with Muslim World Research Center Venue: Senate Hall, Level 5, Rectory Building, IIUM Gombak on 13th March 2016 

 Speech by Dr. Syed Hamid Albar



Introduction  

Let me begin by thanking the International Institute for Muslim Unity in collaboration with Muslim World Research Centre for inviting me to this roundtable to discuss a crisis affecting mankind, which I truly consider timely especially when the tendency of forgetting and ignorance among the big powers is high. In accordance to the request of the organizer, I am before you this afternoon to fulfil my obligation, first as a Muslim and secondly as a human being to share my thoughts on the crisis of our Rohingya brothers and sisters in Myanmar.

The topic of discussion for this afternoon is the ROHINGYA CRISIS: CURRENT INITIATIVE OF OIC AND THE ROLE OF MUSLIM WORLD. My preference would be not to refer to the Muslim world but rather the Muslim Ummah.

Let me begin by sharing these simple questions which was reflected in the book entitled Prisoners of Geography[1]: All lives and paradigms according to this book written by Tim Marshall (2015) are determined by our colonialists. He asked the question about the Middle East:
·        The middle of what?
·        East of where?

“Terminologies based on a European view of the world and region that shaped it. The European used ink to draw lines on maps: they were lines that did not exist in reality and created some of the most artificial borders the world has seen. The border is simply a high berm of sand. Move the sand and physically the border no longer exist. This “line” exist in theory. An attempt is now being made to redraw them in blood.” (Marshall, 2015)

According to the Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (M16) Sir John Scarlett, “International conflicts, civil wars can only be understood by taking full account of the hopes, fears and preconceptions formed by history and how these in turn are driven by the physical surroundings – geography in which individuals, societies and countries have developed”.

Tim Marshall in his Prisoners of Geography stated, “The land on which we live has always shaped us. It has shaped the wars, the power, politics and social development of the people that now inhabit nearly every part of the earth. The physical realities that underpin the presence of mankind with various background, religion and culture are too often disregarded due to ethno-nationalism and purist state agenda.”
 
Myanmar is a good example in this context. The Rohingya crisis is several decades old. The causes of the crisis range from political to socio-economic disparity. There are many views and suggestions about managing the crisis and even expressing dissatisfaction of not doing enough to save the Rohingya, I must say it is a complex and crucial crisis that needs continuous engagement and constructive work plan to find a lasting solution. 

Conditions for Muslims have steadily declined in Myanmar, with the Rohingya Muslims of Rakhine State facing the gravest threat of elimination. In 2012, the country was rocked by the worst sectarian violence in over 50 years, resulting in over 200 killed and 140,000 displaced, most of them being the Rohingya. A 2015 study by the United States Holocaust Museum counted 19 early warning signs of genocide in Myanmar since the start of sectarian violence. Another study by the International State Crime Initiative; Penny Green of Queens University London concluded that the Rohingyas had already passed the first four stages of genocide, including dehumanization and segregation and are now on the verge of mass annihilation. Anti-Muslim sentiment has grown so widespread that even Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party declined to field a single Muslim among their 1,100 candidates for the November 2015 elections[2]. In October 2016, on the justification of fighting against insurgencies, the military had undertaken a sweeping operation that targeted the innocent civilian population by violence, torture, rape and other judicial killings of even babies and children.

The degree of the Rohingya crisis could be attributed to various factors, ranging from political will and commitment, economic disparities, ethno-religious nationalism, radicalism and lack of interfaith understanding. Besides that, the role played by state and non-state actors since 2012 has not really brought any tangible outcome. It is therefore, sagacious to understand the root causes of the crisis, and the extended role of the state and non-state actors in promoting peace and human security for the most persecuted people in the world. On the surface, the state and non-state actors may seem to have similar aspirations, goals and objectives but the reality is nothing has been done to change the realities on the ground. 

My submission to you is based on primary and secondary sources. I have also taken into account written and verbal comments that had been adduced from various victims and parties; in and outside Myanmar.

Before further discussing the issue, allow me to quote from Dalai Lama which I find very relevant to this religious-based operation. He said, “When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others”. There is definitely a total absence of this in Northern Rakhine of the crimes committed by the extremist Buddhist group.

 Another related term would be tolerance, as stated by Gülen[3], who said it is one of those words best defined by its opposite, in this case, intolerance. Belligerence or extremism rejects tolerance and dialogue, preferring the route of conflict. Tolerance seeks to avoid hostilities. Tolerance would prevent, with or without concomitant dialogue, the outbreak of hostilities. However, the common Anglophone understanding of the term “toleration” does not imply a stretch to compassion. In Gülen’s writings, tolerance is compassion and compassion is love. As a negotiating strategy, by contrast, tolerance is put forward as a way to allow potentially contending parties to avoid conflict without their having to go all the way to embrace the “other”. To do that would require acknowledging the presence of so much good in the other that one would lose face by seeming to disown one’s oppressive stance.

According to Imam Al-Ghazali in his Duties of Brotherhood (Book XV, Part II)[4], he spells out one of that sage’s most straightforward and systematic prescriptions for interfacing with the “other”. At the outset, Al-Ghazali expansively wraps all of humankind in the tolerant embrace of Tawhīd, the oneness of God and all creation: Know that the world is one stage of the stages of the journey to God Most High. All in this station are travellers. Since the destination of journey of this caravan of travellers is the same, they are all accepted as one. There must be friendship and unity amongst them and mutual aid.

According to Dr. Alexender Berzin in his article titled Buddhist view of other religion[5], “Just as there are billions of people on this planet, there are also billions of different dispositions and inclinations. From the Buddhist point of view, a wide choice of religions is needed to suit the varied needs of different people. Buddhism recognizes that all religions share the same aim of working for the well-being of mankind”.

However, the rise of the Buddhist nationalist movement is threatening the real teaching of all religions and the stability of multicultural diversity in Myanmar. Buddhist radicalism is characterized by a strong anti-Muslims stance and the rejection of the idea of a multicultural identity. The radical movement, which started in 2011, is structured like a real political network, under the name of ‘696’.  Monks say the three digits symbolize the virtues of the Buddha, Buddhist practices and the Buddhist community. Although the movement claims to be pacifistic, it leads boycotts against Muslim-owned businesses, with the goal of promoting the rise of a richer Buddhist community. Since its founding in 2014, radical group such as Ma Ba Tha has gained notoriety as a radical and nationalist Buddhist group whose anti-Muslim activities have inflamed religious hatred across Myanmar. But no politician or agency has denounced the racism and bigotry of such group. This allowed radical extreme leaders to spread malicious information against Muslims.

To understand why the above deliberation is important is because we must accept that the Rohingya crisis is no longer political and economic in nature but very much ethno-religious nationalism. But I will not deny the fact that the economic gap and systemic policy are used to marginalise and suppress the Rohingya deliberately.     

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Are we ready to stand up for our Ummah, especially for our Rohingya brothers and sisters? This is the time to put our differences aside and let Myanmar know that it has no rights to trample on the minorities, especially the Rohingya. It is important for us to stand together as an Ummah and the let Myanmar know that we will not accept extrajudicial killings, crime against humanity, violation of human rights and genocide.  

While we have patiently put up with the bizarre plot, they crossed the line when they decided not to respect the international law and instead choose to continue the national agenda of wiping out the entire Rohingya ethnic identity and people from Myanmar. The Myanmar Government also denies all allegations and states its action is in accordance with the law. Every accusation deduced of atrocity is construed as an exaggeration or fabrication.

I cannot accept such fabricated statement denying their atrocities. And if this blatant violation of human rights continues, there is high possibility of retaliation which logically could invite counter- radicalism which will be more difficult to manage for Myanmar. To put it bluntly, they are proceeding on a dangerous agenda. Obviously, they will ultimately face serious consequences including war and turmoil. Like most members of the international community, I find this development very disturbing and insulting in respect for identity and human dignity. All international calls are ignored and would fail due to PES interest.

Distinguished guests,

Myanmar today as we are aware has attracted both positive and negative attention. Firstly, positive; because it is in the post-election period towards what is called as transformation to democracy after a long treacherous period of governance under a military junta. Negative attention, is due to its history of abuses and human rights violation against ethnic minorities, especially the Rohingya. As I speak now, we have a new narration of atrocities taking place in the northern Rakhine State, which has drawn concern of the UN and other members of the international community.

We are also receiving reports of disproportionate use of force, tortures, rapes and killings of civilian population in Maungdaw and three other districts in the Northern Rakhine. This includes the burning of villages, homes and mosques since 2012. In response to the allegation that the police stations have been attacked that caused 9 policemen personnel being killed, Myanmar and its military contested that they are justified in their actions due to the terrorist attacks. In reality, at the other side of the coin, they are actually getting rid of the Muslim population whom they consider as illegal Bengalis from Bangladesh coupled with their desire to create a pure Buddhist state.

The former UN Chief, Kofi Annan and now the Chairman of Independent Commission has expressed “deep concern over violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the military killed 428 people which is plunging the state into renewed instability and creating new displacements. He further added that all communities must renounce violence and urged the security services to act in full compliance with the rule of law.” (NST, 16 Nov 2016)

Elizabeth Trudeau, US State Department Spokeswoman in her statement mentioned that the US is also “concerned by reports of a spike in violence” in Rakhine and urged the Myanmar government to allow a credible and independent investigation. (NST, 16 Nov 2016)

In the latest R2P Global Centre’s website, Gerath Evans said; “Mass atrocities cannot be universally ignored and sovereignty is not a license to kill.”

Rev. Desmond Tutu said this on the violence in Rakhine, “We shall share a responsibility to do whatever we can to help prevent and protect one another from such violence.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with trepidation, I want to understand the current conflict to formulate our responsibility, when international law has been breached and diplomacy has broken down. In this regard, let me also share with frustration, the latest development at the Human Rights Council Meeting in Geneva where the EU is not interested to support the call for an independent UN Commission to be set up to investigate on what is happening in the Rakhine State.

 Myanmar looks set to escape an international investigation into alleged atrocities against Rohingya, after EU decided to use existing mechanism at the UN Human Rights Council.  The UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Yang Hee Lee, backed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein requested the UN to investigate allegation of gross human rights violation by military and security forces in order to ensure full accountability for perpetrators. However, the EU preferred using existing mechanism with the so-called good cooperation and access from the Myanmar Government, rather than a new approach and requested to give Myanmar more time to exercise the domestic process. In this regard, I and my human rights activists have voiced serious doubts about Myanmar’s real intentions. Several investigation commissions set up by the Aung San Suu Kyi Government and its security forces had not acted impartially as the parties involved in the wrong–doing.

Today, this has become a global concern. OIC, Indonesia and Malaysia and other members of International community have expressed their worries on the issue of ethnic-cleansing or crime against humanity. Malaysia called for an ASEAN Emergency Meeting but Myanmar did not agree. Ultimately, Myanmar agreed to have a retreat in Yangon. This gave an opportunity for Myanmar to explain their version of what is happening. The Foreign Minister of Malaysia spoke of the allegations of ethnic cleansing and gross violations of human rights of the Rohingya Community and the need for access to international humanitarian organizations to have full access to the affected area.

Malaysia also called for an emergency meeting of the OIC which was held on 19th January 2017. The meeting came out with a statement for Myanmar security forces to cease forthwith the military operations in Northern Rakhine. Forty one civil societies of Myanmar call for the formation of an international independent council under the UN to investigate the real situation in Rakhine. The meeting also called for the OIC secretary general to lead a delegation to Myanmar.

Let me outline what, why and how OIC first got involved in Myanmar’s ethnic and religious conflict. After the October 2012 riots in Sittwe, where many Rohingya Muslims were killed and 160,000 became displaced persons.

For your information, the Organization which was established in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco on 25 September 1969 in response to the criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. One of its principle objectives is to contribute towards sustainable international peace and security.
After the 2012 communal violence, the OIC being the collective voice of the Muslim Ummah is obliged to safeguard and protect the interests of Rohingya. The OIC believes it can be the facilitator of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between the Buddhist and the Rohingya Muslim communities in Myanmar. 

The SG of OIC, Ehsanoglu visited Rakhine and met the President and other government leaders. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the OIC to provide assistance as well as open an office in Yangon. Unfortunately, the Myanmar Government reneged on this agreement. Iyad Madani on assuming the position of SG looked for a new approach to engage Myanmar to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis. That was how the position of Special Envoy for Myanmar was created. In performing its responsibility to address the Rohingya crisis, the OIC has to address four main challenges in Myanmar. The four challenges are:

i.             Myanmar in transition – politically and economically:
·        US, EU, China, India – friends of Myanmar
·        Economic interest VS Human rights norms and values

ii.            The current Government set up:
·        25% military controls the Parliament
·        All law and policies amendments require military support
·        Key ministries controlled by military

iii.           The existing discriminatory laws and policies:
·        1982 citizenship law
·        No Muslim Representative in Parliament
·        Discriminative registration process
·        2015 Race and Religion protection law

iv.          The rise of ethno-nationalism:
·        The Ma Ba Tha radical group
·        Hate speeches
·        Supported by the Government due to political sentiment

These challenges underpinned OIC’s responsibilities in tackling the problems faced by the Rohingya community. The OIC recognised these are complex challenges when it is underscored by human rights violations, the loss of status of citizenship, discriminatory laws, and the remission of freedom of the Rohingya community. For OIC, it is of paramount importance that these issues are tackled and resolved in order to find a lasting and durable peace, security and stability an inclusive democracy is to succeed in Myanmar.

I strongly believe, due to the complexity of the problem that there are no quick fix answers or solution to these problems which brought about the conflict in the first place. During my tenure as the SE, I have furnished OIC with detailed continuous reports on my visits to Myanmar and the Rakhine state. The solution would depend very much on the political will and commitment of the Myanmar government and its military to practice true democracy where there is inclusiveness, rule of law and justice for all its citizens including minorities. The branding of Rohingya as illegal Bengalis and not accepting them as an identity would not be just or correct approach to a solution. Worst still, not giving them any space or freedom in Myanmar on top of being excluded in the new political transformation to democracy is not the answer to a peaceful, stable and democratic Myanmar.

Myanmar civilian political leaders cannot deny or dismiss allegations against the security forces as fabrication or that the problems don’t exist. The leadership of Myanmar must decide whether they are going to lead or be led by the military that have bad track records of being just, fair or moderate in their dealings with the innocent civilian population. Albeit so, the government must not allow the extremist Buddhist monks to spread hate or violence against minority Muslim population. In order to achieve a credible democratic outcome, the Myanmar government must be able to remove the discriminatory laws and policies as well as manage the ethno-religious nationalism which encourages extremism and the dislike of others. This institutionalised discrimination and atrocities would result in counter reaction and radicalism amongst the Rohingya for their self-respect, dignity and survival. This is consistent with the reports of the UN Special Rapporteur to Myanmar and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as Human Rights NGOs like Amnesty International, Fortify Rights and Human Rights Watch.

Myanmar has insisted that the reports and findings are an exaggeration. It is difficult to fathom Myanmar’s counter allegations against ample evidence from the victims, satellite images and video clips. Even their own selfie showed the true inhuman treatment of Rohingya children and men, by the military and victims’ accounts of other than cases of rape and torture.

The former OIC SG, Iyad Madani is a man of moderation and compassion felt disturbed on getting reports and receiving key witnesses’ accounts on what is happening. During his time, he has taken up these issues at the highest level of the UN, EU, Myanmar leaders and Aung San Suu Kyi. He wrote to countless leaders of OIC and ASEAN to assist to find a just solution to the problem. He wrote to Kofi Annan when he was appointed Chairman of the Rakhine Commission. The SG practised engagement and dialogue at every level of disengagements in fulfilling his role as the SG. He expected the SE to also do the same in finding reconciliation in Myanmar.

Ladies and gentlemen,

OIC has expressed its alarm on the predicament of Rohingya in facing human rights abuses since the outbreak of violence in 2012. It has started its multilevel approach through open and quiet diplomacy to address the issue and engage Myanmar constructively to find a lasting solution. OIC believes that the on-going crisis and problems in Myanmar cannot be ignored on the basis of sovereignty and non-interference. There are 5 main areas that OIC has focused its attention:
  • Socio political space and freedom
  • Crime against humanity / ethnic cleansing / genocide
  • Migration / Human Trafficking
  • Denial of access to Humanitarian aids to the affected area
  • Lack of Socio economic development



OIC’S STRATEGY OF ENGAGEMENT

According to UN, the Rohingya is one of the most persecuted communities on earth. The OIC’s strategy through constructive engagement and quiet diplomacy to address this situation encompasses four areas of activity:
a.    Political Advocacy;
b.    Humanitarian Aid; and
c.    Civil Society Engagement.
d.    Role of SE

a.            Political Advocacy
At the Political Level, the OIC has engaged directly with the Myanmar authorities to restore the basic rights, including citizenship of the Rohingya and to follow up on a 2013 agreement to construct medical facilities for both Muslim and Buddhist communities. Although there have been some efforts to stem the violence and enforce rule of law, the government has been slow to respond to calls for dialogue on the Rohingya issue. After the recent victory of the NLD government, the OIC Secretary General contacted the new leadership in Myanmar to encourage a comprehensive resolution of the crises facing the Rohingya. This led to a meeting with Aung Sang Suu Kyi during the UNGA, in which the OIC is directly communicated to the State Counsellor and NLD leader of the need for a solution. The Myanmar Government asked for more time to push for reforms and identified the establishment of the Rakhine State Commission headed by former UN Sec Gen Kofi Annan as a major step forward.  The OIC still urged the government to take concrete and meaningful steps to resolve the Rohingya crises.

In order to maintain pressure on the authorities, the OIC Secretary General has actively raised the case of the Rohingya during bilateral engagements with Member States and world leaders. From 2012 to 2015, successful cooperation and coordination by the OIC offices in Geneva and New York have resulted in the adoption of resolutions on Myanmar in the UN.

The OIC has effectively cooperated with the international community to raise the Rohingya case to the UN Human Rights Council. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/248, United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/28/L.21, and the recent report and recommendations of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar.

Since the 2015 election of the NLD government serious challenges have surfaced because of the withdrawal of EU and US pressure on the government of Myanmar. Previously international sanctions and political pressure were sustained by a broad coalition of powers.  Now because of the reputation of Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the European and US have agreed to give her time in her transition towards democracy and are not strongly critical of her lack of real effort to resolve the Rohingya issue. She has also been able to distract the international community by engaging in peace talks and ceasefire with other armed rebel groups such as the Shan, Karen and Chin. Therefore most of the international community has withdrawn sanctions against Myanmar.

ASEAN countries meanwhile have always been reluctant to go public with any statements against the Myanmar government. However, those OIC members, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei have been willing to provide humanitarian support and assistance.


b.               Humanitarian Aid
With regards to Humanitarian Aid, OIC Member Countries have provided humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya. Among the countries:
·        Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan : $5 Million in food aid;
·        Qatar : $20 Million;
·        Saudi Arabia: $25 Million; and
·        Turkey: $12Million

The Myanmar government has allowed some of these aids to be distributed on a case-by-case basis. However, there are difficulties in access on the ground. OIC member states like Malaysia are using its own NGOs such as Mercy Malaysia, which have been able to penetrate into Rakhine state. Nevertheless, a large portion of the international aid money allocated to the Rohingya has yet to be disbursed.

     Malaysia and Indonesia have also taken in large numbers of Rohingya refugees and provided for their shelter, this is in addition to the many thousands of Rohingya and other Burmese nationals who have previously been living and working in the country. 


c.               Civil Society Engagement
 On the level of Civil Society, the OIC has been working to bring together Rohingya organizations and encouraging them to unify their ranks for more effective advocacy of their cause. They successfully brought together more than 60 separate organisations to establish the Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU) which could advocate for the Rohingya cause in international fora. 


d.               The Appointment of Special Envoy
  In 2014, OIC SG Iyad Amin Madani appointed me as the Special Envoy for Myanmar. I was tasked to advance the OIC’s quiet diplomacy efforts with the concerned parties in Myanmar, in the region and international stakeholders to bring about peaceful coexistence and restore inter-communal harmony through dialogue and a comprehensive reconciliation process. 

I also have a mandate to set policy directions and design workable plans to facilitate activities under Track 1 and 2. I advise the OIC SG on all matters regarding the development in Myanmar relating to Rohingya and represent the OIC in regional and international fora that deal with the issue. Besides that, I am also the focal point for coordinating, integrating and evaluating the efforts by all parties including activities under the Track 1.5 entities.

The role of SE is important in all tracks (1, 2 and 1.5) in promoting diplomatic efforts, peace and restoring harmony, especially among non-Muslims and Muslims in Myanmar through constructive engagement, dialogues and confidence building measures.

Since September 2014, I made several working visits to Myanmar, Thailand and the United States to engage with political leaderships and advocate for the Rohingya cause. I continued to pursue the political contacts with the authorities to explain the need of having an inclusive policy to change the situation in Myanmar.  

We managed to carry out several humanitarian and educational aids in Rakhine and Malaysia in 2015 and 2016. This is done in collaboration with the OIC Humanitarian Department and the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF). The humanitarian aids are extended to the Muslims and Buddhists.

I have also organized several workshops to bring together Rohingya and civil society leaders from different religious background from Myanmar and across the ASEAN region as part of its confidence building measure to develop trust, understanding and goodwill.

Distinguished guests,

The OIC and the Muslim countries should support the call for the following actions:
u The Rohingya crisis is drawing global attention. Muslim countries, countries of transit, destination countries, civil society and human rights advocates must be united in pressuring Myanmar to treat the Rohingya equally and to ensure basic human rights. Whatever actions that the NLD Government plans to take must be in accordance to the international law. It is time that, humanitarian aid should be allowed to reach the population in Rakhine state, including the Rohingya.

u Pursuant to this, it is the responsibility of the Myanmar Government to uphold its responsibility to protect all population. The NLD Government should end institutionalized discrimination against the Rohingya, including restoring the status and citizenship rights. The Government should take action against hate speeches and take action against whomever that commits abuses and human rights violation.

u The state Government of Rakhine must take action to facilitate the return of IDP’s to their home. The NLD Government must stop the demolition of mosque and houses belonging to Muslims and Rohingya community.  

u To date, the Ma Ba Tha has proven itself to be an adaptive organization. It learnt from the mistakes of the 969 and is continually evolving and professionalizing its messaging, activities, and narrative dissemination of hate and violence. Today, the Ma Ba Tha has built a strong foundation of highly active and motivated monks who oversee a vast network of ground activities and partnerships, as well as a powerful communications and lobbying apparatus, all with proven results. The Ma Ba Tha is likely to continue to retain a significant base of support because its messaging endorses a range of anti-Muslim prejudices that resonate in the broader Burmese society. Much of what is considered ‘ultra-nationalist’ in the international media is closer to ‘center-right’ in Myanmar, and core Ma Ba Tha issues such as the denial of rights for the Rohingya, enjoy popular mainstream support. No electoral outcome or new government can easily change these deep-rooted prejudices, but it is possible to better understand their core themes and develop better counter-messaging and early warning strategies.

u Finally, the high level advisory commission should investigate the systematic persecution of Rohingya or allow an international independent investigation to be formed for this purpose.

Thank you.




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