Saturday, 31 July 2010

Keluarga atau Negara?

(Berikut adalah artikel saya yang diterbitkan di laman web Centre for Policy Initiatives pada 22 Julai 2010 di bawah tajuk 'Jika PM guna wang negara selamatkan perniagaan anak')

Dalam salah satu episod siri drama televisyen popular 24, presiden Amerika Syarikat, Presiden Allison Taylor (seorang wanita) digambarkan berhadapan dengan dilema yang amat berat. Anak perempuannya telah mengaku mengupah seseorang untuk membunuh seorang saksi yang telah diberi imuniti dan perlindungan oleh kerajaan.

Ada sebabnya saksi ini dibunuh. Saksi ini adalah seorang tahanan yang bertanggungjawab membunuh anak lelaki presiden. Maka adik perempuannya mahu membalas dendam atas pembunuhan abangnya. Namun, ibunya selaku presiden bukan sahaja tidak mendakwa saksi ini atas kesalahannya itu, malah memberikan imuniti kepadanya sebagai syarat beliau bekerjasama memberkas penjahat-penjahat yang lain.

Bayangkan dilema yang dihadapi Presiden Taylor? Beliau ada dua orang anak. Seorang telah mati dibunuh. Yang seorang lagi kini berhadapan hukuman mati atau penjara seumur hidup. Yang mati tidak boleh dihidupkan kembali namun yang hidup masih boleh dilindungi.

Yang boleh mengaitkan anak perempuan presiden dengan jenayah ini ialah sebuah pita rakaman yang merakamkan perbualan antara anak presiden itu dan orang yang mengatur pembunuhan tersebut. Sekiranya pita rakaman itu dimusnahkan, tidak ada bukti lain yang boleh membuktikan penglibatan anak perempuan presiden dalam kes tersebut.

Suami Presiden Taylor mengesyorkan agar pita rakaman itu dimusnahkan. Beliau menyaran isterinya menggunakan kuasanya sebagai presiden untuk melindungi anak mereka. Lebih-lebih lagi, orang yang dibunuh itu ialah orang yang bertanggungjawab sebelumnya membunuh anak lelaki mereka.

Berdepan dengan pilihan antara tanggungjawab sebagai seorang ibu dan isteri, dan tanggungjawab sebagai presiden yang bersumpah untuk mematuhi perlembagaan negara, yang mana patut dipilih? Mungkin situasi dramatik seperti ini tidak berlaku dalam realiti. Namun dilema seumpamanya dalam situasi yang berbeza pasti boleh berlaku.

Bayangkan seorang perdana menteri, anaknya berdepan masalah kewangan yang kritikal; perniagaannya hampir musnah dan hutangnya bertimbun. Dilihat akan si bapa akan anaknya yang muram dan sengsara, adakah si bapa selaku perdana menteri patut berdiam diri sahaja tanpa melakukan apa-apa?

Selaku perdana menteri, beliau punya kuasa dan pengaruh. Beliau boleh menggunakan sumber kewangan negara untuk menyelamatkan perniagaan anaknya. Perniagaan anaknya itu pun memang perniagaan strategik yang penting untuk negara. Walaupun ianya melibatkan anaknya sendiri, tidak salah rasanya menggunakan dana awam untuk membantunya.

Mungkin secara peribadi, perdana menteri itu mahu membiarkan anaknya merana memikul tanggungjawab kegagalan perniagaannya. Hasratnya agar undang-undang negara dipatuhi dan sumber kewangan negara tidak digunakan untuk tujuan peribadi. Namun bila isteri dan ahli-ahli keluarga yang lain turut mendesak agar bantuan diberi, mampukah perdana menteri itu berpeluk tubuh berpegang pada prinsip?

Jika perdana menteri itu tetap teguh berpegang pada prinsip, beliau berdepan risiko berlakunya perpecahan dalam keluarganya sendiri. Dalam drama televisyen 24, Presiden Taylor telah dengan berberat hati menyerahkan anaknya ke pihak berkuasa. Permintaan suaminya agar bukti pita rakaman dimusnahkan tidak ditunaikan. Suaminya marah dan kecewa sehingga membuat keputusan bercerai dengan isterinya.

Dialog falsafah antara Socrates dan Euthypro wajar dijadikan renungan dalam hal ini. Euthypro merupakan seorang pakar perundangan pada zaman Greek purba. Pada suatu hari, beliau terserempak dengan Socrates di perkarangan mahkamah. Tujuan Euthypro ke situ pada hari tersebut ialah untuk mendakwa ayah kandungnya sendiri atas tuduhan membunuh.

Socrates terpegun melihat akan seorang anak yang bersedia mendakwa ayahnya sendiri. Namun Euthypro berkeras bahawa tindakannya itu adalah satu tindakan yang mulia dan soleh. Maka tercetuslah dialog antara mereka akan apakah sebenarnya takrif kemuliaan dan kesolehan itu sendiri.

Socrates melontarkan pendapat bahawa kemuliaan dan kesolehan itu adalah sebahagian daripada keadilan. Namun beliau sendiri kemudiannya menyoal, adakah semua yang mulia dan soleh itu adil dan saksama?

Memang mudah untuk kita menyangkal, tidak ada yang kabur tentang apa itu sifat yang soleh dan mulia dan apa itu keadilan. Namun hakikatnya, lain orang lain pandangannya dan neraca keadilan mereka mungkin tidak sama.

Di kalangan ahli-ahli politik dan pemimpin negara, ada yang berfikir adalah adil bagi mereka menggunakan sedikit kuasa dan pengaruh untuk kepentingan diri sendiri dan keluarga. Rasionalnya, setelah begitu banyak masa dan tenaga dikorbankan untuk orang lain, kenapa tidak sedikit manfaat dan habuan diambil untuk diri sendiri?

Dan jika anak-anak atau ahli-ahli terdekat keluarga yang lain terlibat dalam sedikit masalah, kenapa tidak digunakan kuasa untuk menutup masalah itu? Kenapa tidak digunakan serba sedikit harta dan instrumen kerajaan? Kenapa tidak diarahkan pihak berkuasa tidak mengambil tindakan? Jika buruk imej keluarga pemimpin negara, buruk juga nama negara? Maka, bukankah ‘adil’ sekiranya imej pemimpin dan keluarganya dilindungi untuk kepentingan bersama?

Tidak mustahil inilah corak pemikiran yang ada di kalangan pemimpin-pemimpin negara. Soalnya sekarang, adakah kita mahu pemimpin yang mentalitinya seperti ini atau pemimpin seperti Presiden Allison Taylor dalam drama 24?

Sudah pasti, yang lebih baik adalah yang seperti Presiden Taylor. Namun itu watak di dunia fantasi. Realitinya bagaimana? Tuhan sahaja yang Maha Mengetahui banyak mana pemimpin-pemimpin negara yang tidak teguh prinsipnya.

Kesimpulannya, barangsiapa yang merasakan pegangan prinsipnya tidak seteguh Presiden Taylor, janganlah sesekali mengimpikan apa jua jawatan politik yang melibatkan kepentingan negara. Yang sedia ada dalam kerajaan pula, jika pegangan prinsip anda juga tidak teguh, undurlah diri dengan segera sebelum bala menimpa.

13 comments:

shamster said...

Salam w.b.t.

Being in a high position definitely takes a toll on the person. Interesting indeed.

I wonder how Rasulullah (pbuh) had handle similar case. Appreciate any feedback on this. Thank you.

Zaki Samsudin said...

Salam Brother Shams.

As always, appreciate your commments.

The Prophet's SAW stand on this is clear. As narrated in a sahih hadith, the Prophet emphasised in the strongest terms that he would cut the hand of his own daughter if she is caught stealing.

Granted, the hadith refers to something hypothetical. The most relevant real case example which involved the Prophet SAW is the story of his daughter Zainab and her non-Muslim husband, Abul-Aas. Historical sources have narrated that Abul-Aas was caught once by the people of Madinah. He escaped and came to Zainab (at the time their marriage was already severed) for protection. Zainab informed her father that her (former) husband had come to her to seek refuge. As the story goes, the Prophet SAW protected Abul-Aas and allowed him to return to Makkah unharmed. Abul-Aas eventually converted to Islam and was reunited with Zainab in Madinah.

Please do find more about the details of the story from other sources for I am merely giving a very brief summary here. This story definitely should not be understood as an example of nepotism. What the Prophet SAW did here was to gently persuade his (former) son-in-law to embrace Islam by showing him the mercy and wisdom of the religion. It worked as Abul-Aas finally converted to Islam after more than ten years refusing to do so. Of course, one may critically ask, had the man caught was not the Prophet SAW's former son-in-law, would he been allowed to return to Makkah unharmed? I don't have the answer to that and wish not to speculate.

Allahu'alam, hope this feedback helps.

shamster said...

Ws w.b.t. Br. Zaki.
Thank you for the enlightening feedback (and the reminder in Fbook as well).

Yeah, I was actually thinking of the same example-hadith where the Prophet (pbuh) uphold principles first as compared to protecting his kin (as illustrated by the first example).

However for the second one, which is blurry for me (since I once heard this but cannot really remember clearly), I would offer another perspective.

Do you think that Abul-Aas was unharmed because he was the former son-in-law, or because the Prophet (pbuh) had the initial intention to show that Islam is merciful? If the latter is true, Abul-Aas was not protected because of he's a former kin of the Prophet, but because people know that it based on a principle that the Prophet hold, which is to spread da'wah (by making him a convert).

Where, if the people know that the Prophet is protecting Abul-Aas for this reason, then they might adhere to it as it is based on principle, not because he was a former kin. Therefore, if this is the case, this is not a protection based on ties of kinship.

I do agree to not speculating about what if the otherwise happened. I believe that the story was arranged by Allah, emulated by the Prophet (pbuh), so that we can derive lessons from it if similar case might happen in the present.

Also, in my humble knowledge, I would think that going for principles is not contradicting with going with kinship ties. They both are in the same dimension, but different levels, just like the objectives of Shari'ah. Protecting principles/religion(dinn) is the core while protecting the lineage is also in the same objective, but a more outer layer in the circle of Objectives of Shari'ah.

I believe the matter is not to see whether to choose which one, as if they are of two different dimensions, but to see that they are in the same dimension, but different priorities (or what I would suggest, awlawiyyat). I believe that is why Maqasid Shari'ah (or maxims) is there to guide us to determine which one should be prioritized. And, the Prophet (pbuh) has demonstrated it nicely in his life.

I am open for corrections. Thank you for reading.

Zaki Samsudin said...

Brother Shams,

You are absolutely right to point out that it is our duty to protect our families, an obligation beautifullly outlined in the maqasid shari'ah. Prioritization however remains a challenge. As Dr.Alizi has often spoken about, the maqasid is not a rigid framework. One can be flexible with its application in accordance with different circumstances.

I believe the bottom line is whether what we doing is legal or illegal. There is no harm definitely in helping a family member or a friend. But helping them could be wrong if it involves actions that are against the law or done at the expense of others. Here is where the examples I've used in the article comes to place.

In Abul-Aas' case, the Prophet SAW certainly did not do anything illegal. Abul-Aas' was not caught for stealing or commiting any other crimes. He was caught because he was part of group of Quraishy merchants travelling in a caravan. The caravan was intercepted by the Muslims. We don't know what happened to the other Qurayshis caught (would be interesting to find out). But in releasing Abul-'Aas, the Prophet SAW certainly did not do anything against the law. It was, as you pointed out, a fate that serves as a valuable example on how to act with mercy and wisdom. Allahu'alam.

This has been a wonderful exchange of views. Hope we'll continue to have this in the future. Wassalam.

shamster said...

It will be interesting indeed if we can know what happened to the other Qurayshis caught.

It has been wonderful for me too. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

SALAM Bro. Zaki.

I'm surprised that watch 24. I've been fanatic about the show and Kiefer Sutherland for many years.

I see that you admire President Allison Taylor. I think obviously you havent seen season 8 (final season) of the show. President Taylor betrayed Jack and completely messed up. I hope you'll write in your blog on that after you watch season 8. Season 8 hasnt been shown in M'sia but you wathc free online at cucirca.com.

Zaki Samsudin said...

Dear Anon 29/8/10,

Thank you for your input. I have been in fact viewing Season 8 of 24 at cucirca. Just completed watching the whole season a couple of days ago. Yes, I have to agree with you President Taylor completely messed up this time around. She just lost her mind for a while and everything just got worse after that. Having said that, Jack Bauer too crossed the line this time. His actions in seeking revenge for Reene Walker's death is no different than Tony Almeida's actions in Season 7. I heard there's a movie in a pipeline. I may be a fan but I think the only way a movie can be worthwhile is for it to end with Jack Bauer's death, an honourable death dignified by him showing remorse for his past misdemeanours. The man just has too much blood on his hands. His heroic unconventional methods were not always justified.

I've been trying to watch some of the earlier seasons. Was greatly surprised to find that the very first scene in the show's inaugural season was an aerial view of KLCC!

Selamat Hari Raya; Maaf Zahir & Batin.

fargowin said...

Malaysia has the misfortune of being ruled by Muslims, hence their intolerant attitude to you non-malays.

It was the Chinese and Indian minorities that have begun to lift Malaysia out of third world poverty, and those malay bastards should be grateful to them for this but like I said before, that is too much to ask from a Muslim.

Malaysia is a xenophobic country – the bitter truth is that malays are afraid of competition from other races – they are indeed lazy and want everything for free.

If Malaysia is to divide into two countries with malays taking the east and the west to the Chinese and Indians – watch the malays starting to migrate to the west illegally for a better future.

It is no wonder Singapore is a country which is 50 years ahead of Malaysia. Malays are fool racists indeed.

The writer should know that most of non-malay community realised what the government have done to them is unforgiven.

If we still depending on government we won’t be in top position in overseas, for example (60% in NASA is Indians), two-thirds of the community of practicing doctors in Singapore is Malaysian Chinese.

We (non-malay community) have been proven our intelligence around the world but not in Malaysia. So what we have to do just emigrate or use Malaysia as an investment base.

Actually we (non-malays) should know that government will never change their policies unless there is a ‘protest’, here we don’t do that – that is the problem, anything the government says we just simply raise the Barisan flag.

It will be good idea if we emigrate, like one say in English, ‘Where is a will, there is a way.’

But always remember the ‘will’ for non-malays is not in Malaysia.

coolooc said...

Islam in Malaysia is suppressing humanity, dignity and desire of a normal human being.

Islam in Malaysia is causing trouble to non-Muslims who goes about their everyday life to do what any other normal human being on earth are doing.

Islam in Malaysia does not respect traffic law when Muslims can park their cars all over the road and cause inconvenience to everybody.

Islam in Malaysia does not contribute to the progress of the malay race and any other race in Malaysia.

Islam felts threaten in Malaysia, when nobody actually gives a damn about them.

San said...

Dr Mahathir is the worst thing that has happened to this country. He continues to spew venom. Why? All he cares about is himself, his family, his relatives, his friends and his cronies.

It doesn't require a PhD to analyze the reasons why many malays are still poor for the new economy in spite of the NEP and all we hear - the true reason for the failure of the malays are MAHATHIR MAHATHIR MAHATHIR……….and nothing else.

Mahathir biggest achievements are not the white elephant KLIA, the robber highways, the meaningless Twin Towers, ghost town Putrajaya, failed MSC, sweat shop factories run with foreign labour, etc.

His true achievements are the destruction of good governance, law and order, quality education, religious brotherhood, peace and harmony.

ruyom said...

The name Melayu is an Indian word to denote hills or mountain range. There is a place in south India called Melayur.

Indigenous people who marry Muslim Indians from Melayur identified themselves as Melayur.

Over time, as the malay kingdom spead through insular SEA, the word Melayur became simply as Melayu.

If one were to do genetic test on the modern malay in Peninsula Malaysia, they would invariably carry genetics from Indian to explain the darker complexion and kinky hair of most malays as opposed to the Mongolid look of some malays of original Malayo Polynesian, Dusun or Dayak stocks.

The real natives or indigenous people of the Peninsula Malaysia can be found in the northern parts of Peninusla Malaysia apart from the aborigines.

oversee said...

Najib can formulate any policy. On the ground level where the heads are not qualified themselves as their staff - many problems will arise.

Further the NEP will somehow make good talents frustrated and will certainly be the main causes of frustrations. At best we can get the second rate staff to stay - the top ones will have no problem seeking better salaries and futures elsewhere without the glass ceiling overhanging their heads.

Our national sense of belonging will be lost when day in and day out we feel the impact of marginalisation in almost every sphere of educational or economic activities.

I think we are in even more for hubs of abandoned projects because it is the brains that matters, not real estate buildings which politicians are only good at how to initiate to build for their own gains. When coming to real research and real productive work, you only have lots of unemployable graduates lining up to fill them.

Best of luck Malaysia, while Malaysians of the best calibre are in our neighbouring countries creating state of art products and discoveries.

The people with brains first go to Singapore, then Australia, then the US. Apparently roughly 2 million Malaysians have emigrated since the 1970s. Wow, what a brain drain that is……….

Let alone those whose have already left. How about those who came back earlier with their foreign wives! The immigration department has made their renewal of visa a living hell, and they are not allowed to work no matter how qualified they may be. Eventually these "loyal Malaysians" also end up packing their bags and leave.

The politicians can say one thing but it never gets implemented at the ground level. Look at the mess surrounding Malaysia "My Second Home" campaign - how many have actually come here and then left in deep frustration!

The racists in Umno will also make certain that such policies will be doomed to fail. They would rather give citizenship to unruly and uneducated illegal Indonesians than some non-malay PhD holders.

Get your children out of this sucking country before it is too late! This is a hopeless and dirty country with all the lousy ministers and corrupted politicians.

I am afraid there is nothing second class citizens like us can do.

Emigrate to other countries looks to be a better option. Of course, the exodus has started decades ago. In fact, Umno will be most happy to see us go (race ratio, you know what I mean).

Umno does not depend on the second class citizens for the brains. They have the many universities in Bolehland to train their kind and churn out any number of experts you want. So brain drain is not a problem.

Zaki Samsudin said...

Dear fargowin, coolooc, San, ruyom & oversee,

Thanks for dropping by. I assume you wanted to respond to my post last year (18 June 2009) entitled 'Why Mahathir hates LKY?' but somehow posted your comments on this post.

Whatever your views are about Islam and the Malays, I would like to plead to you to reflect on them fairly and without prejudice. We can have differences of opinions but ultimately I believe it is our responsibility to think of solutions and remedial measures, not generalised condemnations that contribute nothing but hatred and animosity.

Salam.