Damian S. L. Yeo & L. C. Goh (DSLY)
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz

"Rulers usually appoint people to watch over their subjects. I appoint you a watcher over me and my behaviour. If you find me at fault in word or action guide me and stop me from doing it."

One of Umar ibn Abdul Aziz quote that made him a great man. So what about this man that make him a great leader.

His works and words have widely quoted by the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Lim Guan Eng. In many occasions including in one of his maiden speech in Parliament YAB Lim made mentioned of him. Even Ustaz Abdul Ghani, the homnourable Commissioner of PAS Melaka met me in the Court canteen one fine day spoke to me about the CM of Penang praised of this great leader and told me if I be CM* one day (haha, like I would) elaborate and follow this great leader, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz.

And so I am, learning and reading about this great leader.

Thanking the net, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 717 to 720. Umayyad caliph would mean the ruler from the Umayyad dynasty whom historically the second of the four Arab caliphates establish after the death of Muhammad the prophet. Caliphate would mean the Islamic form of government representing the political unity and leadership of the Muslim world. It is based on the notion of a successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad's political authority.

As a leader, He is known to be estremely pious and is disdainful of luxuries. He preferred simplicity depositing all assets and finery meant for the caliph into the public treasury. He abandoned the caliphal palace to the family of Suleiman and instead preferred to live in modest dwellings. He wore rough linens instead of royal robes, and often went unrecognized.

His modest lifestyle, gave me a finest impression of the lifestyle and mannerism of YAB Tok Guru Nik Aziz, the Kelantan Menteri Besar who lives in a modest kampung house in Jalan Melaka, whom I had the opportunity to visit two years go. In fact, my chinese and Christian friends in Kelantan was not only supportive but love their Menteri Besar who was and is seen not only pious but fair and just. That makes him "the big of a man".

Though Umar ibn Abdul Aziz had the people's overwhelming support, he went as far to publicly encouraged them to elect someone else if they were not satisfied with him but nevertheless no one ever took him up on. That equal check and balance and democracy of the state.

Historically, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz confiscated the estates seized by the Ummayad officials and redistributed them to the people, while making it a personal goal to attend to the needs of every person in his empire. This make him the people's leader. Understanding the need of the welfare of the people and seeing that the needs of the people is taken care of. The fighting of corruption and bribery was another area which Umar ibn Abdul Aziz practices by promptly depositing to the public treasury any gifts to him. This endears him amongst the people but at the same time, I believe, enemies within his courts.

He was not even encouraging war but prefered negotiations like when he faced Kharijite uprising and in fact, personally holding talks with two Kharijite envoys shortly before his death.

Interestingly, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz method of governing through Sharia, emphasizes the need to be fair, just, competent and with the full of integrity and accountability. YAB Lim Guan Eng had many time insists that the state government in Penang practices C. A. T. the acronym of Competency, Accountability and Transparency. But what about "Amanah Bersih dan Cekap" founded by the Barisan Nasional federal government in the 80s which dwindled to be of just lip services and words where corruption had become a core and a MUST in the civil service.

Anyway I am still having hopes with the recent enforcement and arrest by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) but then again what happen to the incident of alleged police brutality that caused suspects killed/murdered during police custody like Francis Udappayan and 21 years old Kugan and the many more. There are so many questionable conduct by those in authorities. What about our judiciary and it's legal system?

What about the hillslope projects that was authorised by the managers of our states? What about the extragavant expenditure of mega projects that cost millions of Malaysian ringgit? What about the failed EPF losses? Or what about the rise of our crime rates where cities like JB has become notorious for criminal activity. Or what about the simply arrest and later charged of those participating in so-called illegal assembly. Or in short what about our basic democracy and human rights? What about ISA and the other preventive and emergency laws that making a mockery of our constitution?

Or what about the standard of our educational system whether in our secondary schools or undergraduate universities which unfortunately we are no where close with our neighbour universities. What happen to the closing down of schools? What about the illegal immigrants in East Malaysia? What about the oil royalty to deserving Terengganu? What happen to dengue (denggi)? What about sexism by our ultras? What about racist and the keris factor? Or the racism of every race notwithstanding Malay, Chinese or Indian? What about Malay supremacy or ketuanan Melayu? What about Mat Rempit compare that to JERIT? What about the privatisation of government agencies?

Now, should there be a cry for Umar ibn Abdul Aziz core values in our system and administration. Remember, that Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was poisoned and murdered by a member of his court.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

could you plz giv me sum opinions on how he ruled.Was he a good ruler and why