Saturday, June 28, 2008
Disagreement is Good
The Prophet pbuh once said in his hadith that: -
"khilafu ummti rahmah"
which means "differences of opinion among my ummah (people) is rahmah (good)".
Why did the Prophet pbuh said that differences of opinion is good when it can lead to disunity? The answer is very simple. It is because when we have differences of opinion, we are able to ook at things from various angles and choose the best of all. When we have no differences in opinion, we may be seen to be united but we may not be able to reach the best solution in dealing with any one issue. An an example, in Islam we have four (4) mazhabs (school of thought) i.e. Maliki, Shafi'e, Hambali and Hanafi. During our normal daily life, we follow our mazhab but under certain circumstances, we are allowed to switch to other mazhab on temporary basis like performing haj (pilgrimage). In Malaysia, we follow Mazhab Shafi'e which says that our wudhu' (abolution) is void (I can't remember of any other words) if we touch someone from the opposite sex who are our non-mahram (those we can marry). While it can be enforced in our daily life but it is highly impossible to have the same rule when we perform haj especially during tawaf. So, in that situation we are allowed to switch to other school of thought that does not make our wudhu' void for touching our non-mahram. Imagine if in Islam, we only have one (1) school of thought and that is Syafi'e, how are we supposed to do our tawaf?
However, in our political scenario, Barisan Nasional always feel that they should be united. Yes I do agree with them that they need to be united to be strong but unfortunately at the same time they do not allow their component parties to have differences of opinion. In short, they (BN) remain united by not having differences of opinion. As I said earlier, when you do not allow your component parties to have differences of opinion, you may not be able to reach the best solution, thus you have the tendency to come to a wrong conclusion and this will make you very weak and BN are now indeed very weak. Not only that the BN component parties are not allowed to have differences of opinion among them, they may also be punished if they do. As a good classic example, the then Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, B Sothinathan of MIC was suspended from his ministerial post for three (3) months only for criticisng the government regarding the Crimea State Medical University (CSMU) in Parliament. In doing so, Sothinathan was said to have breaking ranks. Even Samy Vellu was a bit disappointed with the decision when he said that "Prime Minster has the right to take such action. I do not want to comment further". Click here http://www.puteri.net.my/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=542.
Another example was the then MP of Cameron Highlands, SK Devamany of MIC who in commenting about Hindraf rally said in Parliament that the rally had proved the failure of the government policies which do not benefit the Indians. As a result, he was asked to meet up with Najib Razak and the outcome was not very surprising when he made a 360 degrees u-turn when he expressed his regrets over his statement made in Parliament. Click here http://agendadaily.com/cms/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_a02a2a3c-cabec5bb-7c789400-1350d190. As a result, BN suffered a disaster when they lost many of the Indians votes during the last GE. Even Samy Vellu lost his stronghold Sg Siput seat.
So, when I read newspaper report about Shahrir Samad felt that his ability to be able to have all the BN MPs to support his motion on price increase as a victory and it shows that they are united even when they are at a weak point, I can't help but felt sorry and pity for him and his BN men for having such a mentality. They are living in their own fantasy believing that they are strong when they thought they are united. But are they really united? I doubt so. Put it this way. After reading what happened to Sothinathan and Devamany, what will happen if any of the BN MPs stood up to vote against the motion on the price increase tabled by Shahrir Samad? The least the MP will get is an honour to have a four-eyes meeting with Najib (and later express regret for going against the BN spirit of togetherness) and the worst is suspension (if the MP is adamant with his stance). So, what is so great of BN men being united in Parliament, or perhaps outside the Parliament for that matter when they have to be united and not that they want to be united? Nothing great. It was just their feeling to console their heart when being under pressure circumstances. Click here http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/6/24/parliament/21637144&sec=parliament.
Then, I read a report entitled "No Consensus in the Pakatan Rakyat Policy" written by Khoo Kay Peng who is a corporate consultant and an independent political analyst. Click here http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/6/27/nation/21668930&sec=nation. Towards the end, the writer wrote that Azizan’s stubbornness may be a good indicator and a warning bell for PR. Can the coalition stem its desire and lust for power and focus on putting its house in order or risk its own undoing?
Put it this way. PAS-DAP-PKR has never been in the same boat. They have their own principle and ideology. While PAS is adamant of setting up an Islamic state, DAP is strongly against such an idea while PKR is playing safe by being silent but in the end, they worked together and scored unbelievable victory in the last GE. So, what is a big fuss of Pakatan Rakyat being unable to be in consensus? No big deal.
So, which one is better? Differences of opinion but remain united or sharing the same opinion and seems to be united?
Biarkan Si Bedol terjun bersama labu-labunya (Let Si Bedol jump together with his men)