PETALING JAYA: Pundits have denounced a PAS leader for belittling a campaign to encourage neighbourly help to people impoverished as a result of the government’s efforts to contain Covid-19.
They said PAS central committee member Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz was displaying his insensitivity and lack of leadership skills when he implied that the White Flag Campaign was for weak people with a defeatist attitude.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Nik Abduh said: “Raise your hands in prayer to God. That is the flag of strength and optimism in the test of life. Don’t admit defeat when being tested.”
Universiti Malaya lecturer Awang Azman Pawi called it a “weird” reaction, saying he failed to understand why PAS would not support the flag campaign and why Nik Abduh could not see the difference between a prayer as an “internal call” and the campaign as an “external call” for assistance in troubled times.
“It’s a call for food assistance,” he told FMT.
Former academic Azmi Hassan said PAS leaders “should have the common decency” to say the right thing about a campaign meant to help people in distress.
Both Azmi and Awang Azman questioned the quality of leadership in PAS, particularly in its role as a member of the Putrajaya administration.
Azmi said it appeared that PAS did not even have “the basic knowledge” to run the country.
He said many people were sceptical of the party’s abilities when it decided to be part of the ruling government and the sceptics had been proven right.
“PAS leaders have been making too many blunders. Their decisions are sometimes shallow and do not have any justification,” he said.
Two days ago, PAS member Takiyuddin Hassan, who serves as law minister, said the Dewan Rakyat could sit only after the state of emergency ends despite an earlier statement from Istana Negara that Parliament could be convened during the Emergency.
Azmi said this was just one example of a PAS leader’s failure to do his homework before commenting on an issue.
Awang Azman said PAS had yet to show that it could offer solutions to social problems now emerging as a result of people’s loss of income. He gave the example of indebtedness to loan sharks, which he said was becoming a major issue, affecting more and more people.
“PAS should come up with solutions to such problems,” he said. FREE MALAYSIA TODAY
I feel sorry for you, Nik Abduh
An open letter to PAS leader Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz.
Dear Nik Abduh,
I was quite disturbed by your Facebook post yesterday where you advised Muslims to raise their hands and pray to God instead of seeking help from their neighbours and community. It is truly sad that you failed to understand the importance of community in our personal well-being.
What you have failed to understand is that God created us among different groups of people – a family unit, relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbours and communities – each one teaches us something about ourselves and our place in the world. There is a deeper wisdom to why God placed us within these relationships.
At one point in our lives, every one of us will experience pain and hardship. Seeking help when we need it and offering help when we are able to, are two ways we develop our community and build strong relationships among us. This is the reason why community is the core essence of human experience – to live as part of a community fulfils the natural component of our lives.
Nik Abduh, the world exists beyond our mosques.
I am sure you agree that it is common for Muslims to seek help from our neighbourhood mosque and its congregation. In fact, we are encouraged to seek help in the name of Muslim brotherhood.
What you have failed to understand is that our world is not only designed to exist in our mosques – it also exists beyond. And just as a person is expected to seek help from the mosque, we should also seek help from the community we are a part of.
‘Your advice helps no one’
Being a Muslim, as much as I believe that going through difficult times is a test from God, I also believe that God encourages us to seek help, for every Muslim is accountable for what he himself does or fails to do.
In short, individual responsibility is a cornerstone of Islam. It shocks me that you, of all people, do not hold this belief close to your heart.
In a world where we are ever so connected, you are encouraging the people to be disconnected, to seclude themselves in their homes and leaving fate in the hands of God. Your advice helps no one and will get us nowhere. Is that your intention, O wise one?
It pains me to wonder what prompted you in making such a statement in the first place. Were you never made to feel like you belonged to any circles of community, one whom you can depend on for your own wellbeing?
Loneliness is definitely one of the biggest plagues in our world. It can affect our mind and our hearts, erode our thoughts and judgement. For what it is worth, I feel sorry for you.
I hope Malaysians who like me were disappointed with your advice, would find it in their hearts to forgive you. After all, you are part of our community and this is exactly what communities do – we take care of each other.
I wish you well, Nik Abduh.
WRITER – FA ABDUL / MKINI
FREE MALAYSIA TODAY / MKINI