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PROCUREMENTS AND THE QUEST FOR INTEGRITY
WRITTEN BY: DR CHANDRA MUZAFFAR
5 AUGUST 2014

Citizen Nades (the Sun on Monday, August 4, 2014) should be commended for once again raising the critical issue of middlemen in the Malaysian procurement system. This is undoubtedly one of the major impediments in the quest for integrity and honesty in the life of our nation.

Employing middlemen or agents --- sometimes euphemistically known as "facilitators” --- in government procurements has become a culture of sorts. Instead of purchasing a product directly from the manufacturer or principal distributor, government ministries or departments tend to go through an agent, thus adding an unnecessary layer to the transaction. It creates an unproductive, even a parasitic, element in the economy.  It increases costs. There are occasions when these costs are passed on to the consumer, adding on to her burden. It is a culture which negates the growth of genuine entrepreneurship.

The public should express its aversion towards this type of procurement. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and other agencies tasked with combating corruption should take a clear stand against it. The media which runs advertisements against giving and receiving bribes should also campaign against the role of middlemen in the procurement system.


RAMADAN DAN DISIPLIN
OLEH: DR CHANDRA MUZAFFAR
9 JULAI 2014

Ramadan Al Kareem mempamerkan serta menekankan banyak nilai-nilai sejagat yang murni dan antaranya ialah nilai disiplin.

Permulaan berpuasa sehingga waktu berbuka perlu mematuhi waktu tertentu dan yang lebih penting ialah ibadah puasa itu sendiri menguji disiplin diri kita dari fajar hingga ke senja --- kemampuan kita untuk mengawal diri kita dari makan dan minum atau melakukan sebarang perbuatan yang melanggar amalan ibadah itu.

Amalan-amalan ibadah yang lain juga memperkukuh nilai disiplin. Solat lima waktu umpamanya berpaksi pada waktu-waktu tertentu malah rukun Ibadah haji tidak dapat dipisahkan daripada peraturan-peraturan tertentu yang wajib kita amalkan.

Walaubagaimanapun disiplin tidak terbatas pada amalan ibadah semata-mata. Disiplin adalah nilai yang sangat relevan pada setiap dimensi hidup kita. Dari soal-soal peribadi sehingga cabaran-cabaran kemasyarakatan, disiplin merupakan anak kunci yang menentukan kejayaan atau kemunduran kita. Itulah sebabnya dalam setiap falsafah agama dan budaya, disiplin dihargai dan amat diutamakan.


THE MALAYSIAN LINK TO TERROR IN SYRIA 
WRITTEN BY: DR CHANDRA MUZAFFAR
30 JUNE 2014

Since April 2014, the Malaysian media has carried numerous stories of Malaysians who are directly or indirectly linked to terrorist groups operating in Syria, and to a lesser extent, Iraq. We are told that they see themselves as "jihadis” who are fighting for an Islamic cause. There are unconfirmed reports that some of them have been killed in the on-going conflict in Syria.

Police intelligence appears to have mined a lot of information about the activities of these individuals and groups. Their local training hideouts have been revealed and their regional and international links exposed. This has enabled the police to make several arrests.

Eliminating Muslim terrorist networks of this sort will not be a walk in the park. The police, and indeed, the majority of the Malaysian populace share the same faith as the individuals associated with these terrorist operations. A lot of Malaysian Muslims may also harbor some of the misconceptions and prejudices which impelled some of these jihadis to take the road to Damascus.

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EQUILIBRIUM: THE KEY TO OUR SUCCESS
WRITTEN BY: DR CHANDRA MUZAFFAR
12 AUGUST 2014

It is significant that the Star has launched a campaign to encourage the articulation of Brave Views and Bold Ideas but tempered by the voice of moderation.

One hopes that this campaign will help to overcome one of the major shortcomings in the public discourse on ethnic issues in the country. There is a pronounced tendency for opinion-makers who highlight a particular extremist view targeting a certain community to ignore or downplay a similar extremist position directed against another community. For instance, those who are outraged by a cow head procession are somehow not incensed when the carcass of a pig is left outside a mosque. Likewise, groups who protest against insulting remarks about Ramadan choose to maintain a stunning silence when a non-Muslim religion is subjected to derogatory comments. When some communal politician describes a third generation Malaysian of Chinese descent as " pendatang”, he draws the ire of an entire community but when some other public figure rubbishes the Malay root of this nation so clearly acknowledged in the Malaysian Constitution, hardly anyone from that community attempts to rectify such a blatant distortion. 


MH17: RELEASE MILITARY RADAR DATA
WRITTEN BY: DR CHANDRA MUZAFFAR
20 JULY 2014

The MH 17 disaster continues to generate a lot of questions. People everywhere want to know what really happened.  What caused the crash? Was it a surface to air missile that brought MH 17 down? Or was it a missile fired from a jet fighter following the passenger airliner?

Answers to these questions may tell us who was actually responsible for the dastardly attack.

In the interest of finding the answers, the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) calls upon the authorities in Kiev, Moscow and Washington to de-classify and release the raw military radar data manifest for the incident area on that ill-fated day. This vital information should be studied by an independent international panel of experts. The panel’s findings should be made public immediately.

For the families of the victims of the MH 17 crash and for the world at large, it is this military radar data that may provide the closure that they yearn for.

EMPATI DALAM RAMADAN
OLEH: EN. RAFLLY NANN
10 JULAI 2014

Betapa bulan Ramadan adalah bulan yang sangat mulia dan tinggi fadhilatnya bagi seluruh umat Islam di seluruh dunia yang berpuasa menahan lapar dahaga secara fizikal dan mengekang hawa nafsu secara spiritual.

Ramadan adalah bulan perpaduan umat Islam dimana kesatuannya wujud di seluruh dunia. Bermula daripada timur di Jepun sehingga ke bahagian barat Amerika seluruh umat islam beserta umat Islam di Asia, Eropah dan Afrika menunaikan ibadah fardu berpuasa pada bulan Ramadan yang sama dengan mematuhi kesemua Rukun Islam yang terangkum melalui syahadah, solat, puasa, zakat dan haji.

Bulan Ramadan adalah bulan mendidik masyarakat nilai empati kerana ia berjaya memaut kasih dan sayang sesama kita sebagai sebuah negara bangsa. Perpaduan menjadi nyata sewaktu umat Islam berpuasa , masyarakat bukan islam akan menunjukkan semangat toleransi dan hormat kepada rakan-rakan mereka yang berpuasa di samping dapat menikmati pelbagai juadah makanan yang mungkin hadir setahun sekali di pasar-pasar Ramadan.













 


Bersatu Menyelesaikan Kepincangan Sosial Negara

Empati mendatangi kita dalam berbagai bentuk dan seringkali kita terlepas pandang betapa empati sepatutnya menjadi reaksi spontan yang tidak perlu di olah atau di nukilankan dalam berita atau cerita sensasi yang selalunya trajis.

Malah telah menjadi seperti satu lumrah masyarakat kita yang sangat tertarik dengan pendekatan mensensasi kejadian trajis tanpa mempedulikan akan pedas lada atau masin garamnya.

Kelibat adik Siti Sofea Emelda seorang anak kecil yang berumur 2 tahun akan selalu kelihatan di Pasaraya Kotaraya Kuala Lumpur bagi mereka yang berniaga dan lazim ke sana. Anak kecil ini juga tidak asing kepada kumpulan NGO "Pertiwi Soup Kitchen” yang sering meringankan seketika beban pencarian sesuap nasi bagi mereka yang tidak mempunyai tempat berteduh atau di label sebagai golongan gelandangan kotaraya.

SETERUSNYA..
 
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