I was with an old friend the other day, and we were talking nonsense and just having a good time for old time sake. Our conversation led from one thing to another, touching on almost every issue and everyone we know from the past. The friend, Arif, now lives by himself as his beloved wife passed away several years back, and their 3 children are all grown-up, married, and having their own place. When I asked him whether he intends to remarry - he's about 51 now - he tells me a story when he did have thoughts of marrying another, way back when he was much younger and his wife was still alive then.
"I frequent a small surau somewhere in PJ", he says. "Some 20 years ago when I was crazy for this girl, my position in office became shaky and my friends began to shun me simply because they know my wife personally, and do not want to be dragged into a domestic affair".
"Things between the girl and I were getting real hot and we were seriously thinking of eloping. At the same time, a pious man was invited to the surau for a series of ceramah. The man was soft spoken with a radiant face, and a smile that would always put me at ease".
"About 2 weeks or so before the girl and I were to elope, the old man mentioned about polygamy and the responsibilities of a husband to his family. Though most of the matter touched I have already known, what he mentioned towards the end had me thinking and doing it exactly - I went home late at night when my family were already asleep. Then I crept into the children's bedroom and looked at their faces, and thinking how their lives would be messed up on the accounts of my 'lust'. Next, I went to my wife and did the same, thinking how her life would be crushed - she has been a loving and loyal wife; why, would I need to put her through a period of turmoil? With that, I scuttled my plans and have remain faithful ever since".
Hmm...I don't know whether I would be able to do that as I have never been in such situation. Sometimes, it would be easier to judge another person for the acts we deem as wrong without looking at the real reasons leading to such act. However, in this case, alhamdulillah, his act does seem to be the right one. Whoever the pious man was, may Allah s.w.t. bless him - where religious talks failed, he used humanity and and compassion. Without my friend realising it, humanity and compassion falls within Islam, and its way of life. Perhaps, it is these aspects of Islam which we should bring forward more into this life we are living in.
Reading harakahdaily today regarding a case involving Perkeso, I just could help but feel disgust in which a man's claim was dismissed easily even though he does seem to have a valid reason. The man, Roslan Mohd Ali, was working as a lorry driver, and has had the lower part of his left leg amputated due to diabetic problem. But Perkeso seems to insist that he is not eligible for the claim as they find him still an able person. True, that he MAY well be...but later!. Does Perkeso understand the problems he face between now, and later when he is able to?
For one, the man has run out of his leaves and is now on unpaid leave. The fact that his employer should look more compassionately into the matter, is another case which should be looked into by the authorities concerned. Tell me, in between now and later on when he has adjusted to his condition, how would he be able to feed his family?
The man, Roslan, is now 45 years old, and was working as a lorry driver. Now, I do not want to sound like I am belittling his educaton background or his job, but seriously, can one really expect Roslan to be able to find a suitable job in his current condition? Have Perkeso, his employers, and all concerned, taken into consideration other factors such as the number of jobless grads in this country looking for a job, the ever increasing prices of basic goods, and most importantly, Roslan's health? Somehow, I do not think so. Where, I ask, is the compassion of a nation that declares itself Islam Hadhari? (Hadhari, is supposed to imply civilisation, by the way).
A couple of weeks back when I visited a friend at a government's hospital, I was quite aghast that they now charge a parking fee. Quite rightly then, another friend pointed out the 3 categories of people who frequent government hospitals:
1. The poor or not-well-off who happen to be sick.
2. The family or friends of the above who sends him for treatment, or come a visiting.
3. The poor or not-well-off who needs outpatient treatment.
Why then, does the government, namely Ministry of Health, need to burden the poor who are already physically sick, with parking charges? Forget the excuse of using public transportation if you - the government - have not been using it yourself. I, for one, can point out a hundred and one reasons why the poor and the sick should NOT use it at all, but I'll just give 2 for now:
1. Most government medical appointments are in the morning and patients have to come in very early.
2. Have any top officials ever tried using public transport during early morning rush hour? Try it when you are sick or have only one leg to stand on then.
Back to Encik Roslan's case, it would be nice of Malaysians to help him (and others in similar situation) with his plight. But it would be better if the authorities take another look into their set of archaic rulings and whatnot, and add humanitarian values into it. For what good is a set of rules and laws when the human aspects are absent from it?
ps. Have called harakahdaily and requested them to highlight the Tabung Bantuan Harakah account number, especially for Encik Roslan's case.
While I was driving around PJ today, the traffic policemen seem to be serious about handling traffic violations, especially those beating the red light; that's awfully good of them. But (hopefully a cop or 2 is reading this), its been the talk of town why the middle of the month has become a favourite time for the traffic cops to do so; why, can't it be every week?
Another thing which is also the talk of the town: what, is the actual duty of a cop (in this case, the traffic officers)? Are they to nab and fine traffic offenders, or are they there to ensure that the law is not broken? If its the first, fine, then I'll just shut up. But if its the latter...? As another blogger recently like to use "Lu pikiaq la sendiri!".