Sunday, June 28, 2009

How Western Society Handle Childcare Issues

Title: How Western Society Handle Childcare Issues

We should do away with “maids”, either foreign or local. All these years living in the West, I hardly encounter any western family who employ maids in their household. I have seen advertisement for home helper, a few hours a week worth of work, to take care of kids after school, or another few hours a week to help with household chores, but not full time maid. In fact you can hire home helper on regular basis, but they are not called maids.

1. At government level, we should legislate that anyone who work, either in domestic or commercial premises should be compensated accordingly and accorded rights under the law, ie they should get at least minimum wage, SOCSO and EPF contributions. A worker is a worker, local or foreign; they should get the same rights and benefits.
2. Yes we know that Malaysia doesn’t have any minimum wage law, but it’s never too late to act now and legislate minimum wage law now.
3. Enterprising Malaysians might set up Early Childhood Education Centre in housing areas and villages, and charge parents by the hour. So parents can leave their young children at these centers before going to work, and pick up their children after work. In fact there are already businesses of this nature in the country.
4. High income parents might not have problem sending their children to Early Childhood centres, but low income families might not be able to afford it. Therefore government should subsidize low income families so that they may be able to send their children to these centers, even for limited number of hours/days. Some households or parents should be encouraged to run this business, taking in children from the neighbourhood.
5. “More money that government will have to pay” you might say, but the cost saving by not importing foreign maids would be in hundreds of millions. Furthermore, we would be employing locals and reducing unemployment.
6. For those who can afford to employ home helpers, they must pay at least minimum wage as well as other obligations like workers insurance, SOCSO and EPF contributions.
7. It is more desirable that in a two parent (husband and wife) family with young children, one of them stay home to raise the family. Government should encourage this by giving better tax breaks and subsidies, so that they are not living in poverty.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Do we really need maid?

Title: Do we really need maid?
Of course we do, majority of us would say so, to do our household chores that we loath and too lazy to do ourselves, and free our precious time so that we can go shopping and do other things.

When we were young, we loath to do housework, be it making up bed in the morning, doing dishes after breakfast, and dinner or cleaning up around the house. Our parent indulged us, on the excuse that we need our precious time to study. We never change, when we are adult, we continue to loath housework, preferring instead to work and earn more money, or going out with friends etc.
These are just a few excuses; of course we could find a thousand other excuses under the stars. There are some legitimate excuses too, especially if we have many young children and some invalids in the household. But do we have to call our home helper as “maid”? The word maid give an image of someone of lower social status, whose presence is at the “beck and call” of the master and mistress of the house, and whose purpose is to serve “someone above” her.
This description reminds me of the old days when rich American households in the South have slaves, and rich gentry in the old Europe employ maids. We have read about rich Arabs in the Gulf countries mistreating their maids, not that we are any better.
I applaud the government for legislating a law that requires the maids be allowed one day off a week. But that is hardly enough, we should treat home helper “maid” just like any other workers in the country. They should get fair treatment in other aspects as well, hourly wages, SOCSO, contribution to EPF and insurance among others.
Above all, workers should get at least a livable minimum wages. It’s a shame that Malaysian Government has been dragging its feet on minimum wages. We still don’t have minimum wages law, recession and competitiveness has always been the excuse.

Treat the maids fairly, ie like any other Malaysian workers with full entitlement to minimum wages, insurance, SOCSO and EPF then we would eliminate the need to import foreign maids.

Indonesia acts in maid abuse row
By Karishma Vaswani
BBC News, Jakarta

Some Indonesian workers have fled to a shelter at their embassy in Malaysia
Indonesia says it will temporarily stop sending domestic workers to Malaysia, after a meeting with Malaysian officials in Jakarta.
It is the latest move in a long-running row between the two countries over the treatment of Indonesia's migrant workers by Malaysian employers.
Labour groups have been pressing for better treatment of Indonesia's maids and other workers in Malaysia.
More than a million Indonesians work in Malaysia, most as maids or labourers.
Indonesia has been debating whether to temporarily halt the flow of its domestic helpers to Malaysia ever since pictures of abused Indonesian maids started appearing in newspapers here.
One case in particular has repeatedly made the headlines - that of Indonesian domestic worker Siti Hajar.
Photos of her scarred body have been broadcast on TV channels recently, after she was reportedly tortured by her Malaysian female employer for three years.
Little protection
Hers is not an isolated case. There have been a number of high-profile cases of Indonesian maids reportedly abused in Malaysia over the last few years.
Indonesia's labour minister Erman Suparno says that from Friday, Indonesia will temporarily suspend sending domestic workers to Malaysia to work, until a meeting takes place between the two nations next month.
Malaysia is home to over one million documented Indonesian workers. Most of them are employed as maids or construction workers and often receive meagre wages for their long hours.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Story of the Supernatural Kind; Bergaduh dengan Jin, Fighting with Djinn II

A Story of the Supernatural Kind; Bergaduh dengan Jin, Fighting with Djinn II

May Allah give us all His hidayah, and keep us in the straight path of Islam. This story I have written is 20 years old. ‘A lot of water had passed under the bridge’ since then. A few years after that incident in 1988, Arqam was disbanded by Malaysian Govt and their members had been put into reeducation camp to correct their belief. So Arqam and Aurad Muhammadiah no more. May Allah keep us all in the right path.
links that maybe of interest:
Manakib Muhammad bin Abdullah AsSuhaimi
Ustadz Ashaari Muhammad
Definition: this definition is my understanding.. Please correct me, or add any terms.
Yakazah – soul purification ceremony, whereby the participants (usually a few people sitting in a circle in a room or hall, cried and asked forgiveness from Allah for his/her past misdeed. As per definition, yaqazah is the meeting of a Muslim with Rasullullah while the person is awake, not in a dream.
Kashaf – Whereby a man/woman reached a stage where he/she can see the unseen in his/her surrounding and happenings in faraway places.
Suluk – A tasauf method of knowing yourself and knowing Allah, separating ourselves and our nafsu. I don’t know anything about tasauf, sorry cant explain. BUT suluk is normally done over 40 days, with guidance of a teacher/guru normally the month before fasting month, eg Rajab, Syaaban.

I went home for good (well that was the intention) back in July 1990. After a couple of weeks, or was it a month, my father and my younger brother asked,
“What was that about?”
I knew straightaway what they were referring. That incident in 1988, which had wide coverage in Malaysian newspapers, whereby a group of Malaysian students in Auckland stayed in a house for almost a month, without ever going out to get food, with dire consequences.
“They were given ijazah, wirid and zikr by their guru, so they amalkan, practice, but their guru left them after that, not staying on to bimbing, teach and show them” I explained.
“They started seeing things that were normally unseen, men without head, men with pig head and other scary creatures” I continued.
“Oh macam tu, memanglah itu salah guru yg bagi ijazah wirid tu. Guru memang sepatutnya kena bimbing supaya muridnya boleh menghadapi dugaan macam tu” My father understood straightaway. It’s the duty of the teacher to guide the disciples. He was disappointed.
How did my father understand these things? Only much later that I figure out that he had previous experience of the same magnitude.

Really, the part above should be the end of the story, not the beginning.

Long before then, there was a halal slaughterman, who used to stay at the mosque whenever he was in Christchurch. He was active in PAS and had many friends who were active in PAS. One day he told me not to join Arqam, because Ustadz Ashaari have a djinn. He told me that one of his PAS friend could see the unseen, and this friend went to a ceramah of Ustadz Ashaari, and saw the djinn beside Ustadz Ashaari.
I was bemused, and didn’t say anything.
Then he told me another story. There was an Arqam man who lived at Sg Penchala. One maghrib, he went to the surau to perform maghrib prayer. He wasn’t gone long, and his wife noticed that he came back in a hurry and as soon as he was inside his house, he asked for sex. As a dutiful wife, she complied, even so close to maghrib time. But she noticed that her ‘husband’ behaved differently, he was in a hurry and his eyes look red. As soon as it was over, the ‘husband’ got out of the house, presumably to go for shower.
(In those days, the male communal bathroom was by the river, about 20 metres away from the surau)
So when the husband came back from maghrib prayer, the wife asked if the husband came back just before maghrib.
No he didn’t. So who did she had sex with? He look like her husband, sound like her husband but behaved a bit different. So they left Arqam permanently.

Did I believe this story? Yes I trusted my friend the PAS man, but I didn’t care too much.

A month or two before the incident (I don’t remember whether it was one, two or three month) there was a flurry of mission activity. First there was a break up in Arqam leadership, with the co-leader and also co-founder of Arqam leaving the group. Then there was a flurry of activity, whereby the leadership of Arqam visited every far flung branch.
There was a Southern Filipino man, by the name of Suhaimi (birth name or given name I do not know for sure). He couldn’t speak nor understand Malay, but at certain times, as if some other being take possession of his being, he spoke fluently but with different voice. The purpose of the leadership visit to every branch was to conduct ‘yakazah’ ceremonies for every Arqam member. ‘Yakazah’ is basically soul or heart purification ceremony. Worthy Arqam members who are good well behaving Muslims, with undivided commitment towards the movement would sit in a circle, and cry asking forgiveness from Allah for past mistakes and misdeeds. The master of ceremony is Suhaimi, who would say that such and such person in the group look like a big snake, and another person had a head resembling a pig because of past misdeed or bad habits etc. Indeed this man could see that the snake head or pig head, and after much crying and asking forgiveness from Allah, the snake head or the pig head would turn to normal, presumably their sins had been forgiven, and they have remove the bad habits from their hearts. Then after this purification, the members will be given ijazah, wirid to recite after every obligatory prayer. The master will unroll his turban (or using a long piece of cloth) and asked the disciples/members to hold on to the turban. Then he will teach them the wirid which they shall recite after every prayer/sholat.
My friend’s comment:
Have you seen ‘orang menurun’? Nope I said. ‘Orang menurun’ is djinn entering that person’s body and speak and act on behalf of djinn. So that was djinn who was speaking. Another thing, it was djinn that sit in front of the ‘yaqazah’ participants and make his head look like pig’s head or snake head. The fact that this person ‘Suhaimi’ who cannot speak Malay but suddenly can is sure sign that he ‘menurun jin’. It was djinn who was speaking and not him. A guru tasauf cannot divulge what he seen or say about his disciple/student to another person, only to that student alone, because that Allah’s secret. In the practice of suluk, as in Tariqat Naqsyabandiah Kadiriah (follower of Shekh Abd Kadir Jailani) at the beginning of the night the teacher will chalk on the student’s fingers, and then the student was left to do zikr, Lailahaillallah and Allah. In the morning the teacher would ask the student, “What did you see last night?” The student might say that he saw a beautiful maiden, she kissed him all over. He didn’t do anything. So the teacher would bring a mirror and showed the student chalk marks all over his body. So it was not a pretty maiden after all, but the student himself and his nafsu.

What is the wirid? Basically Kalimah Shahadah, with the addition of reciting the names of the first 4 Caliphs and Muhammad bin Abdullah asSuhaimi as Khulafa ur Rasidin.
“Asha du alla Ilaha Illallah wa ashadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah, Abu Bakar as Siddiq, Umar alKhattab, Uthman ibn Affan, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad bin Abdullah as Suhaimi”
My friend’s comment:
So instead of 2 Kalimah Shahadah, they have FOUR. Then there are more wirids that include Lailahaillallah depending on the level, which also recite the words to the effect that Imam Mahdi as the Caliph. There is only 2 Kalimah Shahadah, you cannot add more.

When asked, they were saying that they were merely acknowledging Khulafa ur Rasidin as the rightful leaders of the Muslims. But they were reciting this wirid to the point of obsession, reciting and counting using counter machine until the machine broke down. I was told that this was the wirid as given by Rasullullah to Sheikh Suhaimi inside the Kaabah, thus this is called Aurad Muhammadiah. ‘Yaqazah’ as per definition is the meeting of a Muslim with Rasullullah while the person is awake, not in a dream.

Later, things started to get a bit weird and scary. One of the female member of the group claims that she started seeing the unseen and seeing events at other places, and other cities. She described seeing a group of followers of Dajjal (anti-Christ) gathering at the Octagon in Dunedin ready to start a fight with her. On another occasion, she described what was happening in Auckland, where a group of Arqam members holed up in a house and didn’t get out for a month. She said that the house was surrounded by scary creatures, headless human etc. This condition is called ‘kasyaf’, whereby Allah has removed the hijab, the sight barrier that we can only see what is near us. Of course ‘kasyaf’ has many stages, and this is kasyaf of the eye.
My friend’s comment:
No this is not that stage kasyaf yet. Djinn has removed the hijab so that that person can see djinn. At that time she is not fully convinced so the djinn asked Allah to remove hijab to the djinn world. The djinn prayed to Allah thus, “Ya Allah, your servant is on the way towards kufr, please remove the hijab so that we can push him/her towards kufr completely” So the djinn will show itself and fight etc to convince the person towards kufr.

One night we were invited to a ‘nikah’ marriage ceremony, the woman was the bride and the groom was one of my flatmate. The men were in the main hall, while the ladies at the kitchen. There were nasyid, Asmaul Husna etc being recited before the nikah ceremony. The kadi, and witnesses are amongst the Arqam men. When the ceremony just finished, we were told that Abu Bakr, Omar alKhattab, Ali bin Abu Talib and Uthman ibn Affan were there, giving their blessings. And then, Rasullullah came. She could not see Nabi’s face clearly because Nabi’s face was so bright. I do admit that that particular time I felt happy and contented, well it was difficult to describe the feeling. We did sing nasyid as the people of Yathrib welcomed the Prophet of Islam.
My friend’s comment:
Is it true that was Rasullullah? See that she cannot see Nabi’s face? That’s because Iblis, syaitan and djinn cannot imitate Rasulullah. As for the other’s is it true it was Abu Bakar et al?

One particular night, she asked help from other Arqam members to recite zikr at her place to assist her fighting this one follower of Dajjal. I had the opportunity to come along. She was in her room, while we were at the main hall. Her husband was the go between who instructed us what to recite, Ayat Kursi, Asmaul Husna or LailahaIllallah. Sometimes one of us was asked to Azan. The fight started with a bang in the next room, we heard sound of fight, with sounds of the walls and the ceiling being hit. As the fight goes on, we were reciting with one voice and one heart, and apparently if we were reciting with one heart, that would help in the fight against the djinn, or whatever it was. In the end the djinn lost the fight, but our friend was so tired she couldn’t speak, as we were told by her husband.
My friend’s comment:
Notice afterward that these things died down, no more fight with followers of Dajjal. Since they have followed the way of the djinn, the djinn now will help in whatever he/she does. The pact with the djinn varies, what you ask and the price that you have to pay depends…

At one time, long after the fight with the djinn incident, probably not that long, a month or so, my Arqam friend told me of his dream one night training horse riding with Ustadz Ashaari and his son. The horse was big..

May Allah give us all His hidayah, and keep us in the straight path of Islam. This story I have written is 20 years old. ‘A lot of water had passed under the bridge’ since then. A few years after that incident in 1988, Arqam was disbanded by Malaysian Govt and their members had been put into reeducation camp to correct their belief. So Arqam and Aurad Muhammadiah no more. May Allah keep us all in the right path.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Perak Negeri Jin..Bertendang

Still continuing on the subject of Jin..

I found this article which might be of interest to you.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Story of the Supernatural Kind; Bergaduh dengan Jin, Fighting with Djinn

A Story of the Supernatural Kind; Bergaduh dengan Jin, Fighting with Djinn

My friend’s sister in law is a good looking woman, even more so in her younger days. As is normal in any society, good looking woman would attract powerful and sometimes bad men, and the man who managed to woo and marry her was a powerful man who already had another wife. However her father didn’t agree to the union, but she was besotted with him.
Sound like a good story? Well, read on.
They didn’t get married until after her father passed away. The powerful man worked in high office of Perak State Govt. He was a womanizer of sort, a playboy. He confessed to my friend that he had supernatural help in wooing the women. He had two djinns, one black and one white, named Hitam and Putih. Hitam’s duties was to take care of his properties, he was tough and strong. Putih duties were to help him charm the women. Guess what, he was charming and wily.
Eventually the once powerful man gets old and died. His two djinns were still living in his house.
The negative thing thing about djinn is, everything that belongs to the master, also belong to the djinn. That means the house, the properties and also the wife or wives. Djinn can assume the appearance of the master. So even though the man has died, Hitam and Putih were still living in the house, and sometimes show themselves to my friend’s sister in law.
My friend was asked to find someone to persuade the djinns to move away from the house. So he enlisted the help of one of the disciples of Ustadz Haron Din, who agreed to come over. The first time he came over, the ustadz didn’t even enter the compound.
“I have to prepare myself, I will come over when I am ready” he said.

A few days later the ustadz came back. He set the stage in the main hall, cleared the furniture and asked that all the doors and windows be closed. My friend and his sister in law was allowed to sit at the corner and watch. Reciting prayers and zikr, the ustadz persuaded the djinns to leave, and when the djinns refused, he started fighting the djinns. My friend could not see the djinns, but his sister in law could. There were thumping sounds and things moved as if something has been pushing them. Then he heard a loud bang on the ceiling fan, the ceiling fan moved from side to side. Apparently the ustadz had thrown one of the djinns to the ceiling, hitting the ceiling fan. After that the djinns were persuaded to leave the house, but they might still come back from time to time for ‘old time sake’.
My friend told me that its quite common for older generation Perakians to own djinn or ‘saka’.
“They used djinn to look over their properties and to help them in war” he said.
“Whoever inherits the throne of Perak, also have to inherit the djinns ‘saka’ of that throne. Every ‘alat kebesaran diraja’ has a djinn taking care of it” he continued.
“Oh, that is interesting, I never heard of that” I said.
“In fact during the coronation ceremony 15 or so years ago, one of the things that the Sultan did was got on a boat on upriver Sungai Perak that was to inherit the djinn” my friend was explaining the power of Sultan Perak.

“Nizar Jamaluddin shall be careful with his ‘sembah derhaka’, he can only do thing up to certain point, and certainly not invite anger of Sultan Perak” I thought. He might need to ask help from Ustadz Harun Din if he get the wrath of Sultan Perak... (dont quote me, its just my thoughts)

Have I witnessed someone fighting with djinn? Yes, I have, but not with my eyes, instead with my ears. Many years ago, circa 1988.
At that time I was staying behind the mosque at Deans Avenue, in a horse stable that had been converted into living quarters. My flatmates at that time were religious people who were with Arqam movement. But the djinn fight didn’t happen there, it was at a house in Riccarton.
I shall continue another day…

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Story of the Supernatural Kind; Of Pati Geni and Ilmu Putih

A Story of the Supernatural Kind; Of Pati Geni and Ilmu Putih

Definition: I know, my definition is useless, because basically I know nothing about any of these..

Pati Geni: An old Javanese Hindu origin knowledge and building of inner strength through fasting and staying still… Read article from Ahmad Zain An Najah, MA
Ilmu Putih:as opposed to Ilmu magic.

Continuing from previous posting..
Back in the early 70’s, this friend was young man. His older brother was working as a caretaker at Masjid Abu Bakar in Johor Baharu. So he used to stay at the mosque, and in the old days, mosque was a haven for poor travellers and the homeless. There was one old man who was a bit different that the others. He had long hair and dressed like the legendary warrior Hang Tuah in the Malay movies. At night, after Isha, the main prayer hall and the offices are usually locked. The travellers are allowed to sleep at the veranda and the outer section of the mosque. Every morning just before subuh, the caretaker notice that this old man came down from the minaret, whereas that section was locked. Still the caretaker didn’t ask or say anything, just make sure that the next night is not inside the main prayer hall or offices.
One night after Isha they were invited for kenduri at someone house, so everyone went there. The caretaker makes sure that the mosque is empty and then padlocked the main gate. But when they got back from kenduri, the caretaker notice that he forgot to bring the key, so they were locked out of the mosque compound.
“What happen?” the old man enquired.
“We forgot the key” the caretaker said.
The old man came in from the rear, and without anyone realising, he pushed a bit the caretaker, and suddenly the caretaker was inside the mosque compound. He was dumbfounded, how on earth did he get in?
“Aha, you are inside, so go get the keys then” he said.

One time this friend and his brother the caretaker wanted to go to Singapore. The old man wanted to came along.
“Uncle needs to have a passport to go to Singapore” my friend said.
“Its okay, I can handle it” the old man said
So they drove to Singapore across the causeway, going through immigration checkpoint and the old man seem to pass through okay, the officers seem not to notice him at all.

Being a curious young man, my friend asked the old warrior what kind of ilmu that he practice? The old warrior told him that he originally came from Muar, Johor. He went to Java travelling and seeing places, until he met a teacher who taught him pati geni. My friend said that a man who practice pati geni only eat a handful of rice a day. The rice must be done in a special way. Boil rice in a pot, when its just boiling, grab a handful in your hand and hold it until it cools down. That rice should do for your breakfast sahur before fajar and breakfast at sunset. You are supposed to fast during daylight hours.

The first time I heard of this word pati geni was last year, during rambling conversation with a Sarawakian of Javanese descent. Apparently the fasting whereby you only eat a handful of rice is called poso mutih (spiritual body cleansing), which normally has to be done for 40 days consecutively. Hence ilmu putih.
I have heard of this kind of fasting when I was a teenager, when my late father told me his story of what happened back in 1969. Not only you have to eat only plain white rice, but you can only drink air putih, plain clear water. You also cannot sleep at night, so to keep awake, you have to walk around…
I remember my late father told me that near the end of his forty days fasting, he saw a tiger, a huge snake and a beautiful maiden. No, not at the same time, and only fleeting.
Apparently this is what the old warrior was practising, eat only sparingly and keep awake all night reciting zikrullah.

My Sarawakian friend once told me that his uncle could see places thousands of kilometres away and describe whats going on as well as the situation of the place (whether the pace is spooky/keras or not) if you tell him the address.

So my friend and his group started learning things from the old warrior.
Being knowledgeable in religion, the old warrior also taught Quran and Fiqh and over the years Majlis Agama Islam Johor hauled the old warrior to the Shariah Court for teaching Islam without credentials and accusing him of being deviant. But the prison means nothing to him, he still turn up at his Quran class to teach as usual, while at the same time residing in prison. Towards the end of his life he built a small hut in the forest near Mersing. My friend visited him once; he saw tiger marks around the compound.
“Living in the forest? So who uruskan jenazah when he died?” I asked, perplexed, for an old man living alone in the forest, what happen when he died, I thought.
“He call his anak murid, disciples before he died” my friend said.