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The RMK10 Forum at Berjaya Times Square

Ramadhan has always been a busy month for me. With over 100 Mosques and Suraus in Shah Alam, my evenings, nights and even dawn prayers are packed with programs. I try to go to all the Mosques and Suraus but it is obviously impossible to do. Nonetheless I do try and I may have some 50% covered by the end of the month.

The packed program however did not allow me much room to prepare for my forum with KJ on the 25th of August 5 pm at Berjaya Time square. However, as it was agreed to well in advance, I went after getting assurances that, this time around, I would be the second speaker. Previously in Nikko KJ came after me and this left a somewhat uncomfortable taste in the mouth as he obviously had the last say.

Well, this time around I was to be disappointed as again he was made the second speaker with me as the first. The chairman giving a rather lame excuse that they had flipped a coin and I lost! Well, if that was so, the very least they should have done was to flip the coin in front of me! Anyway, it soon became apparent that they were more under his influence than mine but it did not deter me from proceeding. The knowledge that KJ was not prepared to go first in itself was a consolation. Even on a topic which was supposedly familiar to him, he was concerned about going first.

Anyway, I proceeded, stating clearly that I felt like a fish out of water as being an Engineer by training, economics was not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I spoke for about 25 minutes and I highlighted the following:
  1. The fact that economic policies are not implemented in a vacuum and the possibility of success was also very dependent on non-economic aspects of society including the effectiveness of the various institutions of government and its many departments as well as social stability and unity. Thus all the talk about ‘transformation’, 1 Malaysia and the NKRA and NKEA.
  2. The need for realistic targets which is not the case for the RMK 10 as the targets set looked more like a ‘wish list’ rather than a list of realistic and achievable targets. This was of course not surprising as even for RMK 8 and 9, targets were far from achieved. However in the practice of non-accountable governance for which BN is famous, the failures were of no consequence. So they can carry on setting impossible targets and keep on failing with no one in the administration batting an eye. The targets for growth and investment, both private and public, were areas of particular concern. Private investment figures clearly showed a downward trend with it showing a negative growth in 09.
  3. The need to ensure that National debt was under control by reducing the fiscal deficit. This is however to be achieved by ensuring crony or production subsidies were reduced or slashed altogether and not consumer subsidies as was currently the case. The penchant of the BN to go after consumer subsidies was unjust and bound to cause inflation.
  4. The need to ensure that all contracts are awarded on a tender and not a negotiated basis. I made mention of the Sg. Besi, Sg. Buloh lands and the MRT while highlighting the fact that this practice was still very much alive in the BN for all the lip service. Cronyism was still very much alive. I quoted a few examples. I always made an early reference to BN giving party interests priority over national interests in the case of Kelantan.
  5. I also emphasized that we should not be focusing only on growth while the question of distribution was ignored. An inclusive development which ensured that society as a whole received the benefits of this development was the only way to ensure that development would be sustainable.
KJ was quick to catch my slip up on the acronyms wherein I translated the ‘N’ in NKRA and NKEA as to mean ‘New’ instead of National. This was to him reason enough for him to assume PAS as being a party which is illiterate in economics. I responded saying that it was no big deal be it New or National as the point raised is still relevant. But I can call it ‘New’ National Key Result Areas and New National Economic Areas if it would make him happy. The point I was raising being that in the past it would seem that the administration was doing things without knowing the key areas which needed attention. Something like working in the dark.

KJ rebutted by saying that all the areas were included in the previous RMKs. He even wanted to place a ‘friendly wager’. When I wanted to respond he quickly highlighted it was his floor and it was the last round so no chance for me to respond then! All I wanted to say was that it is therefore obvious it was the same old thing, just in new packaging!

But he did stump me once when he declared Malaysia’s top ten rating as an investment destination. I wasn’t aware of the rating, being a non-economist, and was rather taken aback especially after reading all the bad reports and reducing investment figures of 2009. How could such a rating be I questioned myself? It was contrary to all that I had read, admittedly hurriedly, before. Nothing has changed for the better in Malaysia, the flip-flop nature of government, the lack of independence of the judiciary, the level of corruption and so on and so forth. If nothing has changed here, then surely either the ratings are wrong, or something has changed elsewhere making the other places worse than Malaysia, I deduced. However, not having the facts, I remained silent on this issue. Post forum I was told that my deduction was spot on as the investment climate in Europe was bad as was too that in the Mid-east with the Dubai crisis having just happened.

Figures can be informative, leading one to the right conclusion or it can also be used to mislead. Such was the case with the ratings mentioned above as well as the ‘growth figures’ for the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2010. KJ highlighted the 8 plus % and 10 plus % achieved but what he did not say was that these were relative figures comparing the growth of 2010 to the same quarters in 2009. As the 2009 figures were poor, the relative performance in 2010 was seen to be much better than what it actually was. This was as the base line for comparison was low.

KJ also had a tough time in respect of PERKASA as I mentioned that it was all an act and that UMNO and PERKASA were actually working hand in glove. KJ retorted by saying he would leave UMNO if PERKASA’s stand was chosen over his. We will wait and see.

He also admitted that BN has to be made accountable for the targets set in the RMK 10 and if they were not achieved then BN should be dumped in the next General Election. Interestingly, the media did not highlight this statement made by KJ. He probably regretted saying it.

Anyway, in a nut shell, the experience was a good one for me as it forced me to improve in my understanding of economics. In the past I was happy to allow those more passionate about economics to highlight the issues and be at the fore-front. I would pick one or two of the issues and hammer it home in support.

Now I too have to be as passionate about economic issues and this requires further reading and understanding of the topic. If others can understand the subject, some better than others, why can’t I? This effort to improve my understanding of the subject is expected. This is the more so given the fact that PR is currently ‘a government in waiting’.

WaLlahu 'Alam
KHALID SAMAD

Comments

lan said…
Salam Yb, no worries not being an expert in economics, Im sure u gave your best shot. Have far more respect for you than the other speaker!
Anonymous said…
YB Khalid,
Saya nak tanya, apakah menentang PAS itu bererti menentang ISLAM?

Tolong jelaskan ayat TGNA di bawah:

"Kalau ada ustaz tolong UMNO hari ini melawan PAS, di zaman nabi pun ada ustaz-ustaz melawan Nabi Muhammad sendiri dan ustaz itu adalah di kalangan ahli kitab Yahudi dan Nasrani. Saya amat hairan dengan langkah UMNO itu, kerana ia adalah sama dengan zaman nabi dulu"-(Nik Aziz Nik Mat : Utusan Malaysia, 15 April 1995)
Anonymous said…
YB, ana nak tanya sikit. Kalau YB meminta mengasingkan adat dan hukum hakam agama dalam menilai perbuatan seseorang baik sesama Islam mahupun bukan Islam, apakah kafir boleh masuk masjidil harram?

Kalau kafir tak boleh masuk Masjidil Haram, adakah sebab orang Arab tak faham Islam & PAS lebih Islam drp mereka?

Sedangkan di Masjidil Harram pun tak boleh masuk, apatah lagi Masjid & Surau YB.

Harap YB betulkan kenyataan ana. Kalau tidak pun penyokong kelabu asap PAS pun boleh komen. Ana no hal punya janji jawapan itu adalah yg benar.
Anonymous said…
Anon 9:13am,
betul masjidil haram kafir tak boleh masuk & aku sokong masjid & surau pun kafir tak boleh masuk.

ps/.. sorry, walaupun aku pangkah pas tapi yg benar tetap kena bagitau. aku tak sokong kafir masuk masjid atau surau walau apa alasan sekalipun.
Anonymous said…
Kafir masuk masjid pun pas kata boleh.

Mendoakan kafir pun boleh dlm khutbah jumaat.

Apa-apapun, yang pasti selepas ini akan bertepuk soraklah semua totok PAS apabila mendengar kenyataan Khalifah pujaan mereka ini. Makin bertambah sayang dan semakin teballah rasa cinta mereka kepada kafir berkulup ini yang mereka angkat sebagai setaraf dengan Umar Abdul Aziz r.a.
Anonymous said…
Apa la kau Anon August 30, 2010 8:57 AM,

Menentang PAS tu bukan bererti kita menetang Islam. Kalau aku tak bagi undi pada PAS takkan la PAS sanggup nak kata aku ni menetang Islam sedangkan aku ni Islam.

Sama jugak, kalau aku bagi undi aku pada UMNO takkan lah PAS nak kata aku ni jatuh kafir?

Dan kalau aku undi PAS adakah aku ni lebih Islamik berbandaing orang lain? Adakah aku ini lebih beriman?

Tolong rasional sikit soal kata menentang parti PAS itu seperti menentang Islam walaupun TGNA ada cakap.
Anonymous said…
betul ke kafir tak boleh masuk masjid haram?

tolong pak khalid..confuse ni..kejap kata boleh..kejap kata tak boleh..yang mana betul ni..
iqra said…
Salam...Walau apa pun RMK yg hendak di cadangkan ia adalah sama saja dari RMK yg lepas2, iaitu RINGGIT MALAYSIA KE...jadi kali ini dah sampai ke rancangan RINGGIT MALAYSIA KE 10.

Mana tidaknya RMK di rancang yg pasti ia adalah lubuk org2 tertentu utk melombong laba dan menambah duit poket mereka saja. Majoriti rakyat akan melihat dgn kebanggaan yg kosong saja.

TENTANG ORG KAFIR TIDAK BOLEH MASUK MASJIDIL HARAM SEBENARNYA BUKAN SAJA MASJID TAPI ADALAH TANAH HARAM ITU PUN ORG KAFIR TAK BOLEH MASUK.

APA YG SAYA DIFAHAMKAN MAKSUD HARAM ITU ADALAH HARAM UTK API NERAKA MEMAKAN TANAH HARAM DAN MASJID DI DLM TANAH HARAM SUDAH TENTULAH HARAM UTK API NERAKA MEMAKANNYA JUGA.

DENGAN YG DEMIKIAN SUDAH TENTULAH ORG KAFIR TIDAK DI BENARKAN MEMASUKI TANAH HARAM (MAKKATAL MUKARAMAH)TERMASUKLAH MASJIDIL HARAM.

Wallahu'alam...
Anonymous said…
Soal Fekah jangan di permainkan. Kalau kita tidak arif tentang Fekah, jangan kita berbicara soal samada kafir boleh masuk masjid atau tidak.

Allah bagi kita akal. Tapi kita ada panduan iaitu Al Quran & Al Sunnah. Daripada situ adanya ilmu Tauhid, Fekah dan lain-lain.

Rata-rata di sini ramai tidak bersetuju. Ada juga yang keliru di sebabkan oleh ulasan yang mengelirukan mengenai adat & hukum hakam.

Memang patut JAIS tidak memberi tauliah kepada YB sebab YB tidak mempunyai ilmu berkaitan.

YB adalah seorang jurutera dan mahir tentang apa yg YB buat. Sama seperti jika seseorang itu bukan seorang jurutera tapi duduk di posisi jurutera di sesebuah syarikat. Tak melingkup syarikat tu?

Pendapat saya, dalam soal agama ini, berilah kepada orang yg lebih arif walaupun saya bukan menafikan YB boleh berbicara tentang agama.

Semua suka kalau kita berbicara tentang agama tak kira PAS atau UMNO tapi janganlah carca merba di campur dgn fitnah, maki hamun & pelbagai fatwa putar belit.

Cuma kekeliruan yg di timbulkan oleh YB saya rasa amat bahaya sekali.

Benar, Masjidil Haram adalah haram bagi kafir. Saya setuju jika Masjidil Haram kafir tidak boleh masuk maka mana-mana masjid atau surau juga kita tidak boleh benarkan mereka masuk.

Cuma kadang-kadang saya sedih sebab ramai pemimpin Islam sendiri sudah berlumba-lumba nak masuk kuil, tokong ataupun gereja.

Bukan tak boleh. Tapi apa tujuan? Tak logik kalau kita nak cerita tentang Islam dlm kuil. Cerita tentang syariah Islam dalam gereja. Banyak lagi tempat boleh kita berbincang.

PM pun buat silap merasmikan Thaipusam tempoh hari tapi TGNA juga merasmikan patung Buddha. Jadi di sini kita lihat jelas kekeliruan kita.

Ini memungkinkan golongan yg jahil akan nampak perkara sebegini sememangnya di bolehkan.

Adakah kita nak tengok nanti anak-anak cina bebas keluar masuk masjid? Anak-anak melayu keluar masuk kuil atau gereja?

Fikirkan lah akibatnya.

Anak saya yg darjah satu ni pun tanya saya "Ayah. Kenapa orang bukan Islam boleh masuk masjid?"

Apakah jawapan kita?
Anonymous said…
utk makluman semua ijmak seluruh ulamak Islam bahawa larangan memasuki masjidil haram adalah muktamad atas arahan Allah. Adapun masjid lain tiada masalah org bukan islam memasukinya. Ini yang berlaku di masa baginda Rasulullah masih hidup lagi.Adapun ayat 28 surah at taubah itu hanya semata-mata utk masjidil haram sahaja.
Anonymous said…
salam..

menentang Pas bererti menentang Islam tu hendaklah dilihat dari sudut ideologi perjuangan.

Disinilah berbezanya Pas dgn Umno walupun didokong oleh bangsa yang sama. Pas terang2 dalam perjuangannya mahu meletakkan Alquran dan Sunnah pada tempatnya berbanding dgn Umno yg meletakkan islam bkn priority tetapi lebih mendahulukan kaum. sudah tentulah dalam perjalann yg panjang ini berbagai isu timbul yang kadang2 disebabkan oleh kelemahan Pas sendiri atas sifatnya sebagai manusia. tak kurang juga disebabkan putar belit media perdana. sekarang ni kira ok jugak la sebab ada medium alternatif so Pas boleh response dgn isu2 yang dibangkitkan. aku masih ingat masa 80's dulu. dalam media kawalannya, BN terus-terusan menghentam Pas tanpa ada ruang untuk Pas menjwbnya. walau pun ada harakah, tak mgkn boleh balance dgn propaganda tahap hari-hari ni..

tapi ini sama sekali tidak membuatkan objektif utama tergugat malah terus diperjuangkan.

ringkasnya, dlm malaysia ini hanya ada satu saja jemaah islam yang bercita-cita utk menegakkan true negara islam iaitu Pas. bagi saya tak ada peliknya statement menentang Pas bererti menentang Islam selagi Pas tidak terkeluar dari landasan perjuangannya.

peace be unto you!
Anonymous said…
Dalam isu bukan islam memasuki masjid dalam Al-Quran ada menyebut surah Al-A'raaf:31 yang berbunyi;

Wahai anak-anak Adam! Pakailah pakaian kamu yang indah berhias pada tiap-tiap kali kamu ke masjid (atau mengerjakan sembahyang), dan makanlah serta minumlah, dan jangan pula kamu melampau; sesungguhnya Allah tidak suka akan orang-orang yang melampaui batas.

Children of Adam, dress well when attending the mosques, eat and drink but do not be excessive for God does not love those who are excessive (in what they do).

Kalau kita lihat ayat di atas ia menyatakan "Anak-anak adam/Children of Adam" ..yang merangkumi orang islam dan bukan islam tentang adab memasuki masjid/temapt ibadah

Tak perlulah kita merujuk terlalu jauh..sedangkan dalam Al-Quran yang kita jadikan pedoman sudah ada hujah yang kuat dan terang

Sekian terima kasih
Anonymous said…
kamu semua dok payah nak komen la macam2...pegi la ngaji agama sampai tamat.... baru boleh komen....sembang la semaunya... tahniah yb..... adakah anda sudah beriman,,,,, lalu berhijrah,,,,, sedia berperang,,,,, bersama menegakkan khilafah..... saudara2 kita di lembah khurusan,,, sedang melakukan perkara... inilah pelengkap kehidupan....takbir

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WaLlahu 'Alam
KHALID SAMAD

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