Thursday, August 27, 2009


By: Kassim Ahmad
27 August, 2009

I was pleased to hear, when the UMNO President officiated the Women, the Youth and the Women’s Youth Wings of the last UMNO General Assembly, he said that UMNO members and cadres must undergo training courses. This is the very thing that UMNO needs at the moment. This will give UMNO the philosophy of their struggle. It will make UMNO the true guardian of its own party. It can detect and correct its own deviations in time. The Rukunegara, our Malaysian National Philosophy, is inadequate for this purpose. UMNO’s political philosophy must comprise (a) Malay nationalism (both left and right), (b) Malaysian nationalism (both left and right), (c) Governance through deliberation, or democracy, (d) Governance that is fair and just, and (e) true internationalism or universalism.

Najib’s “One Malaysia” concept is correct, but it has to be adequately defined. It must root out corruption; it must root out waste; and it must root out poverty, weather absolute or comparative; it must root out imcompetence and its cadres and leaders must practice dedicated and sincere service to the people.Everyone, whether living in rural or urban areas must be able to live fairly well. We must devise a system whereby we can achieve this.

Can we do this? Can we achieve the national political philosophy that I have enumerated above? There is no question that we cannot. Nothing is impossible as long as we have the desire to achieve it. What we have to avoid is close our minds to change and regard everything as having been decided by our forefathers whom we have only to follow. This is an unscientific methodology which we must guard against.

In order to be able to achieve the five aims I have enumerated above, we have to move up our psychological state, from thinking that all others except us are right, to a state where we can be wrong, and others can be right. With this state of mind, we can achieve the five aims.

We must be honest to ourselves. Do not put things under the carpet. We do not have to do things all at one go. But we must never lose sight of what we want to do.

Kassim Ahmad seorang penulis bebas Malaysia. Beliau boleh dihubungi di Laman web beliau>

Friday, August 21, 2009

ON 29TH JULY, 2009

1. I want to thank the UUM sponsors of this Round-Table Forum, particularly the Vice-Chancellor, Tan Sri Dr. Noordin Kardi, for inviting me to take part in this discussion.

2. I am pleased that UUM has at last taken this step to teach this extremely important subject, hikmah or wisdom, as it is called in the Quran, in our institutions of learning.

3. Since the famous criticism by the great Muslim theologian, al-Ghazzali, of Greek philosophy and its Muslim admirers and followers (al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rush, etc) and the reply by Ibn Rush, philosophy as a subject of learning has been more or less banned from being taught in the institutions of higher learning in the Muslim world. In the famous University of al-Azhar, set up even before Oxford and Cambridge, no secular subjects like science, mathematics, history and philosophy were taught. It is only recently that such subjects, less philosophy, have been taught. Al-Azhar concentrated on teaching so-called religious subjects such as Hadith, Quranic Tafsir (exegeses), Theology, and Islamic Law or Shariah.

4. Of course, a minority of Muslim scholars and philosophers (Shah Waliyllah, Suhrawardi, Mulla Sudra and Muhammad Iqbal, to name a few.) wrote works on philosophy. In Indonesia we have Hamka. In Malaysia we have our revered Pak Zaaba (Zainal Abidin Ahmad).

5. The importance of philosophy lies in its rational understanding and exposition of what we called Reality, i.e. God and His manifestation of the Universe, and its meaning to human life. A Pakistani philosopher once said, the Quran was revealed to the world to end the prophetic series and begin the rational scientific world that is at the same time moral and spiritual. The very first revelation to Prophet Muhammad: “Read in the name of your Lord Who created… He teaches by means of the pen. He teaches man what he never knew.” proves the rational scientific nature of the Quran.

6. Muslims must examine our downfall when Baghdad was sacked by the Mogul barbarians in 1258. We must cease to be bound by blind authority and re-open the door of ijtihad, i.e. of creative and critical thinking. As the Quran wisely advises, “Listen to all views and follow the best.”

7. The teaching of hikmah, that is, wisdom or philosophy, is the beginning of our regeneration. But we must be guided by the Quran, the final Divine Scripture “that confirms and supersedes” all other scriptures. The Quran is a deep ocean of knowledge and wisdom. Our current understanding of it, in spite of its being with us for more than 1400, is still minimal. This is due to our own fault. We have subjected ourselves to the blind authority of our forefathers, great scholars whom we wrongly idolized. We must break this blind authority and reopen the door of ijtihad.

8. We are a nation of 26 million. If one in a million were to be taught philosophy, we should have 26 qualified people who could teach philosophy and write philosophical books for our nation and the world. That would be excellent.

9) I am prepared to offer my services teaching a few subjects free of charge, beginning from June, 2010 for three months. I only need food and lodging as well as an office with a secretary.

10) That is what I want to say. Thank you.

Kassim Ahmad
29th July, 2009.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Kassim Ahmad

5hb Ogos, 2009

Kelmarin seorang pemberita Berita Harian telah menelefon saya dan meminta saya komen tentang Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA). Walaupun saya mengatakan saya akan tulis sebuah artikel mengenai perkara ini, beliau meminta juga saya memberi kenyataan itu.

Saya mengemukakan tiga perkara. Pertama, prinsip undang-undang ISA ialah kemudaratan kecil diharuskan untuk mencegah kemdaratan yang lebih besar. Perkara ini bukan saja diiktiraf dalam Perisytiharan Universal Hak Asasi Manusia; ia juga diiktiraf dalam Quran. Apa yang perlu dilakukan dalam kajian yang sedang dibuat oleh Kerajaan sekarang ialah mempastikan supaya undang-undang ini tidak boleh disalah-gunakan oleh pihak Eksekutif.

Perisytiharan Universal ada 30 artikel. Artikel 9 mengatakan: “Tiada seorang pun boleh ditangkap, ditahan atau dibuang negeri secara seweng-wenang.” Artikel inilah yang boleh dianggap sebagai bertentangan dengan ISA. Namun demikian, Artile 30 berkata: “Tiada suatu pun dalam Perisytiharan ini boleh ditafsirkan sebagai bermakna mana-mana Negara, kumpulan atau orang mempunyai apa-apa hak untuk mengambil bahagian dalam sesuatu aktiviti atau melakukan sesuatu perbuatan yang ditujukan untuk merosakkan mana-mana hak dan kebebasan yang dinyatakan di sini.” Artikel ini boleh ditafsirkan sebagai membataskan Artikel 9.

Berhubung dengan apa yang disebutkan dalam Quran ialah cerita Nabi Musa berguru dengan seorang hamba Allah yang diberi ilmu oleh Tuhan. (Lihat Quran, 18: 60-82). Dalam cerita ini, salah satu kejadian yang disaksikan oleh Nabi Musa ialah guru itu tidak semena-mena membunuh seorang pemuda yang tidak berdosa. Reaksi Nabi Musa ialah memarahi beliau. Akhirnya, guru itu menerangan kepada Musa bahawa ibu-bapa pemuda itu orang mukmin yang baik, tetapi pemuda ini akan menjadi suatu bebanan besar kepada mereka, kerana kejahatan dan kekafirannya. Guru itu menambah bahawa perbuatanya bukan dating dari dirinya sediri, tetapi dari Yang Maha Mengetahui.

Jadi, dari peristiwa ini, kita boleh menggubal suatu undang-undang, iaitu kemudaratan kecil (pembunuhan pemuda itu) diharuskan untuk mencegah kemudaratan yang besar (umpamanya seperti peranan Hitler dalam Perang Dunia Kedua).

Oleh kerana undang-undang ISA ini sangat luas kuasanya, ia perlu dipinda supaya ia lebih jelas, adil dan tidak boleh disalah-gunakan oleh Kerajaan.

Kassim Ahmad seorang penulis bebas Malaysia. Beliau boleh dihubungi di Laman web beliau