Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. May the Peace, Blessings and Mercy of Allah be upon you.
I met the Member of Parliament for Kubang Kerian, Kelantan YB Salahudin Haji Ayub who is also the National PAS Youth Chief yesterday at his office in the new PAS HQ at Jalan Raja Laut in conjunction with my study and research as to how to bring about a better understanding between the Muslims here in Malaysia.
I also met him to see how PAS can work with the other political parties here to help clear the confusion and concerns regarding the need to have more active interfaith dialogues between the various faiths and multi ethnicities of Malaysia.
Sometimes, one has to go meet people personally in order to be able to know them better instead of just relying on hearsay and media reports or personal assumptions that we make based on the newspapers or magazines or even online websites.
I met him at 3.00pm sharp as agreed and he was very amiable and welcomed me earnestly to his office.
The surroundings were modern and looked very clean. The new PAS HQ is right smack in Jalan Raja Laut, once a notorious sin spot but now getting caught up with the fast pace of progress and development which seems to be always the case with a metropolitan city such as Kuala Lumpur.
There weren't that many people in the building and access was by a security card system. I foresee a very great opportunity for PAS to turn the building into a sanctuary for all the people staying around there for some peace and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the never ending traffic passing through the main thoroughfare of the KL central business district.
We exchanged greetings and YB Salahudin invited me to take my seat and I was impressed by his charming demeanor and courtesy which he showed. The man is soft spoken and paid good attention to what I had to say and share.
Here is his background and biography.
Salahudin bin Haji Ayub was born on Friday the 22nd in the Islamic calendar month of Jamadil Akhir , 1381 AH - 1st of December 1961 C.E.
He was born in Kg. Serkat, Pontian, Johor to a mixed parentage. His father, Haji Ayub bin Omar is a Malay whilst his mother, Aminah binti Abdullah is a Chinese.
Salahudin attended his primary schooling at Sekolah Rendah Inggeris Serkat, Pontian from 1967 to 1973. He then attended his secondary schooling at Sekolah Menengah Inggeris Telok Kerang, Pontian from 1974 to 1976.
He had furthered his Islamic religious studies at Sekolah Agama Kerajaan Johor in 1977 and passed with a special mention in the field.
Transferred to Sekolah Menengah Sri Perhentian, Pontian in the same year from 1977 to 1978 and then to Sekolah Menengah Datuk Penggawa Barat for another year from 1979 to 1980.
Salahudin had graduated with a Diploma in Business Management at Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman (KTAR) from 1982 to 1983 and then obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in the Science of Human Development at Universiti Putra Malaysia.
He married Fatimah Taha in 1985 and has six children with her.
Salahudin Haji Ayub started working as a Financial Officer with MUI Bank in 1980 before getting active in politics totally in 1983.
He first started getting active in the Islamic movement when he joined ABIM @ Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia or the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement and held the office as the Secretary of ABIM Pontian from 1981 to 1983.
In 1983, he was active with the PAS leadership and became the Deputy Yang Dipertua of PAS Pontian from 1983 to 1987.
He was then elected to be the Youth Chief of the Pontian PAS Youth Council from 1987 to 1989.
Chief of the PAS Johor Youth Council from 1989 to 1999.
Executive Councillor of the Central PAS Youth Council from 1991 to 1995. He was also entrusted with the post of the Head of the Agricultural Bureau of the Central Youth Council of PAS from 1993 to 1995.
Salahudin was elected to be the Information Head of the Central Youth Council of PAS from 1995 to 1997. Head of the Information and Dakwah Bureau of the Central Youth council of PAS from 1995 to 1997.
Apart from that, he was elected to be the Information Chief of PAS Johor and also as the Secretary of the Central Youth Council of PAS from 1997 to 1999.
He was also elected to be the Vice Head of the Central Youth Council of PAS from 1999 to 2001.
Head of the National Communications Bureau of the Central Youth council of PAS for the same period and as the Communications Secretary of PAS Johor in 2001.
Deputy Commissioner of PAS Johor and as the Head of the International Bureau of the Central Youth Council of PAS from 2001 to 2003. He also served as the Head of the Consumer Affairs and Environmental Issues of Central PAS in the same period.
Deputy Head of the Central Youth council of PAS from 2001 to 2003 and Head of the Central Youth Council of PAS from 2003 till the present.
It boggles my mind to read about his participation of so many of PAS's activities that I wonder how the man managed to even spare some time to even breathe?
Hehehehehe...Well, that's what happens when one goes into politics, eh? Exhaustive work I say!
In the General Elections of Malaysia in 2004, Salahudin Haji Ayub was elected by the voters of Kubang Kerian, Kelantan to be their Member of Parliament.
Among the highlights of his life has been :
- headed several mercy missions of PAS Central Youth Council to Kosovo in 1999
- sent to prison in 2001 for being involved in the Anti Israel cricket Team tour protest
- headed mercy missions of PAS Central Youth Council to Afghanistan in 2002
- headed mercy missions of PAS Central Youth Council to Vietnam in 2002
- headed mercy missions of PAS Central Youth Council to Iraq in 2003
- engaging in a 'Debat Perdana' @ Prime Debate with Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz (currently the Minister in charge of the Malaysian Parliament) in 2003
- taking part in the Assembly of Malaysian Youth to express support for the people of Lebanon by all the national political parties of Malaysia in 2006.
- headed mercy missions of PAS Central Youth Council to Lebanon in 2006.
He is also a member of the International Parliamentary Organization (IPO) and a member of the Defense Caucus of Humanitarian Struggle.
Phew!!! That was exhausting!
I spoke to him about the concern many Malaysians have about the current state of affairs concerning the subject of apostasy of certain individuals from the Muslims here in Malaysia and why PAS needs to play an active part in explaining about these matters to Malaysians, both Muslims and Non Muslims.
After settling down, I set up my tape recorder on his table and got about speaking from my heart.
He asked whether I knew Sheih @ Kickdefella. Well, I admitted knowing about him as a blogger and been reading his writings too.
I then told him of my background and about what I have done and am doing to further the cause of Islam and the Muslims through my Dakwah efforts both online and offline.
Shared with him about my facing Karpal Singh at the Forum Keadilan held way back in the Dewan Sri Pinang , Penang in 1999.
Alhamdulillah , Karpal apologized for his anti Islam stand and 'cross his dead body statement if anyone wanted to set up an Islamic State here in Malaysia.
I then shared with YB Salahudin that I think it's high time for PAS to have a paradigm shift.
All the old style of 'bashing your opponent senseless' with vitriolic abuses and 'holier than thou' attitude has failed the only Malaysian Islamic political party from making inroads to the hearts and minds of this nation save for the State of Kelantan Darul Naim.
We spoke in both English and Malay. I am impressed to see him being able to relate and respond well in English. That's the reward of attending the primary schooling in those years back then. He's only 3 years younger than me so we more around grew up in the same era.
I also touched on the way HARAKAH has been publishing since it's inception. I shared with him my concerns about the party's newspaper always headlining negative issues no doubt being true but being so doesn't help to further the cause of this party to reach out to the masses.
He agreed and promised to see to it that he will share these concerns with the editors. Why must HARAKAH come to be known as the 'bad news brown' newspaper?
I for one feel that there are so many good things that PAS has done but it is not being featured. It is delegated to the inner pages or is even not mentioned or reported on at all by the paper.
You keep lambasting people day in, day out, accuse this fella of that, that fella of this, what do you expect to be regarded as after all those years of being a negative reporter?
Hell, people will shun you. They will keep a wide berth away from you. Same thing goes for newspapers. I am not saying that we can't write about the bad stuff.
Write if you must or even as a precautionary advice but hello...do you have to live and breathe negativity 24 /7?
That's my humble opinion that I shared with YB Salahudin, the National PAS Youth Chief. I also related to him how I flinched and grimaced watching the live web telecast of the recent PAS Muktamar held in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
There was this PAS ulama, can't recall his name- was too bloody upset. He was castigating UMNO as the 'Setan Besar' @ 'Big Satan'! Tch..tch..tch..tch!!!
This was the kind of behavior that puts off so many Malaysians, Muslims and Non Muslims alike and those in between, the Muslims in Name Only! Hehehehehe...back to my topic! :D
This is the kind of behavior that PAS's Ulamaks need to be cleansed off.
Maybe even be exorcised! Please forgive me for using such a word but I am being absolutely honest and frank here!
This habit has t0 go if PAS wants to see some changes in its future!
Malaysians know that PAS is the least corrupt party here in this nation compared to others but it still has a lot of paradigm shifting to do and a lot of spring cleaning of the hearts and minds of its leaders as well as of its members to be expressly carried out...IF it wants to still lead this nation.
I also reminded YB Salahudin of the old Malay saying of achieving our objectives but in a way that is full of wisdom and commonsense :
" Bagai menarik rambut dari tepong; rambut jangan sampai terputus, tepong jangan sampai berselerak" which means 'As pulling a hair from the flour ; not to have the hair snap off or let the flour be spilled'.
I also shared with him my own saying which is a bit more direct : "Bagai merejam lembing ketengah dada, tembus sampai ke belakang, namun apabila menarik keluar lembing tersebut, tak setitis darah yang keluar!"
which in the English version would be :
' As plunging a spear right through the chest till it protrudes from the back and withdrawing that spear without spilling even a drop of blood!'
What I meant by that is to achieve our objectives of sharing the truth about what Islam is and what it is not by using the proper methods of Dakwah and not incur the wrath of the masses by coming across as being so holy moly.
PAS needs to reformat its system and its methods of operations if it really wants to come across as a viable alternative to the BN.
It also has to be big enough to admit its mistakes and reach out to the Malaysian people sincerely and courageously.
There is just so much that PAS and its leaders can do to fight for the truth, justice and freedom that each and everyone of us so desire to see in our beloved nation.
All it takes is the strength to realize one's slip ups and return to the basics of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam and see to it that it is practiced by each and everyone of its members.
I shared with him the response and reactions from the Malaysia Today readers who expressed support and admiration for PAS when I has written about the PAS Muslimats Team Dakwah Walkabout around the vice areas of Jalan Raja Laut and their reaching out to the unfortunates caught up in the flesh trade by handing out goodies bags without looking down on such folks.
Many of the Malaysia Today readers had expressed their support for PAS doing something that no other political party had ever done for those people whom many shun away from or stigmatize for obvious reasons.
It is these kind of unimaginable actions by PAS that has won them many accolades from those who are known to be very caustic and tough in their comments in the leading alternative news web blog run by Raja Petra Kamaruddin.
As proven, mere talk does nothing to further one's cause. Actions speak louder than words and in this case, PAS scored all 'A's in my book!
This one event is not enough. PAS needs to be more pro active and do what it can within it's means to show us Malaysians what it can do for the people of Kelantan.
The Lojing Highlands issue is one case where PAS needs to show its accountability and ability to rectify the situation there by taking to tasks all those who are responsible for the deforestation and ensuing ecological disaster there where the mountains or hills have been stripped bare just as they have been at the Bukit Cerakah, Shah Alam in Selangor.
Back to what I shared with YB Salahudin.
I then raised the matter of setting up an Islamic Center there in the PAS HQ to cater to sharing the knowledge and truth of Islam to all those in the vicinity.
I also spoke to YB Salahudin of the need of PAS to groom the its youth leaders to be better in their personal capacities as the future Malaysian political activists.
I also shared with him the urgent need by PAS to turn them into good Da'ee's able to reach out and teach the Malaysian public about the faith of Islam as it really is and not as it is purported to be, by those who know nuts about it or those who are hypocrites and try to sink the ship from within. You know what I mean.
The Malaysian people have been fed the wrong picture about PAS all these while and I as a blog writer intend to show the world what PAS really is and to also help PAS to rid itself of it's barnacles and remora's that are sucking the life out of it and needs to do a total makeover if it wants to still be in the race to lead this nation.
YB Salahudin asked me about what I think of PAS?
I told him point blank that to me I know that PAS means well internally and is struggling its very best to uphold the Commandments of Allah but the way it is going now is just not right.
I told YB Salahudin that PAS's image has been damaged by all those 'fire and brimstones preachers' who so love to castigate people at the public lectures and thus portray a very threatening picture of being overly authoritative and harsh.
We must be firm when it comes to upholding the Laws of Allah but we don't have to be so harsh!
Use the wisdom that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala has bestowed within us and follow the Command of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala enjoins us as per the Surah An Nahl Verse 125 in the Holy Qur'an Al Kareem.
" Invite all (mankind) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and reason (argue, discuss, debate) with them (those who do not believe) in ways that are best and most gracious".
I also reminded him how the main media has been playing out PAS all these while by clever editing and manipulating the data and visual clips that they take of the PAS speakers blowing off their steam and losing control of their emotions due to instigations or their own plain foolishness as a result of losing their cool and outbursts in public!
I also advised him to learn of other's mistakes especially that of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in forgetting that he is not an ordinary bloke to just let go as he did in Ijok.
Hehehehehe...the poor man was just having a good time dancing to the beat and rhythm of the Indian percussion but what happened?
RTM cleverly edited that clip of Anwar doing the 'jig' and was flashed over and over again by RTM and TV3 to highlight to the general public watching the news that 'Hello! Look at this over confident fellow! Don't you want to prove him wrong and teach him and PKR a lesson?'
Khalid Ibrahim's boo boo also cost them the precious votes!
The media can make or bake any issues to either be an advantage to you or cause your downfall. They will even steamroll you over and over again till you are nothing in the people's eyes!
Very powerful! The media. Don't play play with them! As Phua Chu Kang would say!
I also warned him of the consequences of false reporting by any media who have an agenda against him or anyone else here on Earth.
Even though we know that pictures can be superimposed with today's technology and we can do a forensic test to determine the authenticity of any visual image, once your reputation is tarnished, the damage will have been done!
So he has to be careful in his daily going abouts as not to be caught in any compromising situations. May Allah forbid!
Datuk Seri Anwar's character assassination by his enemies stands as an eternal reminder of how vicious our media can be. Till this day, his enemies still play up his kopi dangdut joget videoclips and then his preaching from the pulpit as a contrasting scenario online.
May Allah have mercy on the poor man. His is a situation that none should ever have to experience. He is however still magnanimous enough to want to forgive and forget!
I don't think there are that many persons on Earth who would be so forgiving!
I know that any other person so victimized like that would have gone berserk and gone after the perpetrators with a bloody parang and chopped them up to pieces. That would be the natural reactions from any other person or maybe it's just my over imagination! :D
People are very easily influenced by visual images and will believe just anything that is shown to them. So, I advised him to watch out not to be caught in a similar situation. God knows who is out to disturb him or anyone else for the matter. As they say, politics is dirty.
Even if we try our level best not to be with the swine, sometimes the swine can come chasing after us! :P May Allah protect us all. Ameen. As a public figure, he has to watch out for all that he can.
PAS has to do a lot of spring cleaning if it is serious in wanting to rule over us. Its not impossible but they have really got a lot of changing to do and take advantage of the modern science and technology we have today.
PAS has to master the IT world and do a better job in sharing its ideas and its activities with us. People are hungry for justice. If PAS goes about its affairs in a more visible, respectable manner and reduce all that namecalling, labelling of UMNO as the Syaitans , this and that, then PAS stands a very big chance to gain over the Malaysians to its side.
Islam that PAS champions is the God given faith that is the right of all of us mankind here.
How it goes about sharing the news and views of Islam with all of us will determine the outcome of the next GE or the one after it?
History shows us how the big and mighty crumble before those who are honest and sincere and courageous in fighting for the truth and nothing but the truth but there must be a way to achieve it.
I then expressed to him about my main wish. My wish to see PAS and UMNO be one jamaah!
Remember, I wrote about the United Muslims National Organization?
I recall Tuan Guru Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat declaring before that the moment UMNO upholds the Qur'an as this nation's Supreme Constitution and puts it to practice, PAS will disband immediately and join its fold as brothers to one another that we truly are!
YB Salahudin shared with me that he has been making efforts to meet up with Pemuda UMNO and has been making contact with Datuk Seri Hishamudin Tun Hussein Onn and the other top leaders.
Well, to me that is a start and should be encouraged. I would love to go on but it's time for me to go fetch my missus.
Will continue when I am free. See you all soon. Take care and May Allah SWT bless us all.