Press/Media Release

 

Imran Ariff 

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Foundation for the Blind (MFB) and the Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia (Abim) today launched a fundraising campaign to translate, print and distribute history books in braille for visually handicapped students.
Abim vice-president Zairudin Hashim said the initial target of the campaign is RM100,000, which will be used to produce and distribute the text books.
“Most of the books cost around RM90. They are quite expensive and usually only last one or two months as they can easily get damaged and need replacement,” he said.
If more than RM100,000 is raised, he said, Abim and MFB can use the additional funds to conduct a roadshow advocating for the rights of the blind community.
 tabung braille
“We tend to see disabled people as people we need to give money to, but actually, there are many who contribute to our society, so we need to understand they have the potential to give to the country.
“As fellow Malaysians, we need to make sure we don’t forget them.”
MFB founder Silatul Rahim Dahman said this initiative was important for blind students.
“If their needs are not met, they are going to face a lot of difficulties in their studies,” he said.
He hoped the fund will not just produce braille books but also raise awareness on the needs and rights of blind.
“People will not understand our actual problems, feelings and difficulties unless they are disabled, but nobody wants to be disabled. That is the dilemma we often face with the public.”
mesin taip braille
 
Silatul also wants to produce and distribute “books of the general order”, so that blind people can learn about their rights.
The books will initially be produced in Malay, but they hope to produce texts in other languages in the future. Sources: Free Malaysia Today.

 

The forum will discuss on “Compassion & Mercy As The Common Values Between Islam & Buddhism”

Kirat Kaur
BY KIRAT KAUR
In an increasingly rare display of respect and tolerance in Malaysia, an online Islam-Buddhist forum featuring the Dalai Lama – the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader – will be held this month to build inter-religious harmony.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, and International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC)’s Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Osman Bakar will be discussing the topic “Compassion & Mercy As The Common Values Between Islam & Buddhism” online on 28 September.
In an interview with Malaysiakini, organiser Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) explained that they believed different religious views should be discussed on a suitable platform that focuses on wisdom and truth.
Hence the idea to organise this interfaith dialogue.
Nowadays, we are often surrounded by elements of Islamophobia, triggered by irresponsible parties. We should engage in harmonious dialogue with various communities as a mechanism to explain Islam and the contribution of this religion towards peaceful coexistence.
 
ABIM believes that we need to look at a bigger perspective, which is how religious diversity can be an asset to harmony and unity, instead of a factor for conflict.
 
Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz, President of Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) via Malaysiakini.
 
The event is also organised by the Tibetan Buddhist Culture Centre, Malaysia (TBCC), whose president Casey Liu will be moderating alongside ABIM’s president Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz. Sources: The Rakyat Post.
 

 

ALL THE PIECES MATTER

Thursday, 06 Aug 2020
By Nathaniel Tan
TODAY, the sixth of August, is the Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia’s (Abim) 49th anniversary.
In the past year or so, I’ve gotten to know the organisation and its leaders quite well. Long story short, it’s been a fascinating and inspiring journey.
I’ll share three things I’ve learned from Abim for now: successful models of grassroots activism, the ways in which religion can play a positive role in activism and governance, and the value of personal bonds in a movement.
Before I continue, it is very much worth noting that a lot of these qualities and lessons can be found in other similar organisations and movements – be it other religious-based movements like Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia, or secular grassroots movements like Liga Rakyat Demokratik.
I assume none of the rest are celebrating their anniversary today as well, so I hope it’s okay if I focus on the one organisation here.
The initial model that inspired the founding of many movements like Abim is of course that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
The Muslim Brotherhood is not without controversy, and the many similar organisations founded across the world share different levels of affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood today.
A defining feature of these movements mirrors the manner in which Islam emphasises being an all-encompassing way of life, in that it is common for these movements to be involved in a wide array of activities.
These include, but are not limited to, the founding of institutions of learning (from preschools to universities), hospitals, charities, social service centres, and so on. (It is worth noting that PAS operates in this manner as well, and in this sense is extremely different from any other political party in Malaysia).
What makes these organisations a little different from many which work in a similar space within civil society is the manner in which they are financially self-sustaining. In this regard, they are perhaps more similar to social enterprises than to “NGOs”, as we commonly understand the term.
I think this is an important and very useful quality, in forming a long term, sustainable movement. It is a completely different model than having to rely on grants, charity, or other types of handouts, and imbues the organisation with a certain degree of pride and dignity that inspires a particular type of confidence amongst its members.
I might summarise my second point in the saying: “You Islam, I okay”.
I believe Islamophobia is a very real thing, especially among non-Muslims (like myself) in Malaysia.
I’m not saying that there aren’t people here and around the world who do try to force their religion on you in insidious ways. It happens with Muslims, just as it happens with Christians and various other religions in pockets all over the world.
That said, I think it is always, always helpful to not paint everyone who shares a label with the same brush.
One of my more profound experiences with Abim was accompanying them in the delivery of some food aid during the movement control order (MCO) period.
This was one of a regular set of engagements that Abim has had with the NGO Pertubuhan Pembangunan Kebajikan dan Persekitaran Positif Malaysia (SEED), which describes itself as the “first trans-led community based organisation in Malaysia”.
SEED has an office in an area of Chow Kit (in Kuala Lumpur) some might describe as seedy, and serves communities like transgenders and “women of socially excluded communities”.
These are not the types of people that you would imagine an Islamist organisation going out of its way to help.
I can personally bear witness to the fact that there was no preaching, no handing out of pamphlets, and no attempting to convert or get people to “repent”. (I imagine there is no way SEED would have let them do that anyway).
There was only the giving out of very large boxes (sponsored by other donors in this case, I believe) of food and supplies – boxes that I was nowhere near strong enough to help carry for the entirety of the time.
I think the experience was just one of many I had that really ran counter to the narrative that all Islamic organisations are the same, that they all want to convert you, and so on.
This was one of many times that I saw a focus on Islamic principles and values, rather than the outward manifestations and trappings. I saw firsthand so many times the emphasis on compassion and aid to all who suffer – not just all who look or talk like them, or shared the same beliefs.
I think religious revivalism is a very real phenomenon – but also not necessarily one that needs to be as polarising as it has been in the past. As what may be a growing number of Malaysians are putting religion in the centre of their lives, it is vital that we continue to build bridges and recognise the common humanity between those who have different views on religion and secularism.
Thus far, I have found the people at Abim to be amazing partners in this endeavour, and I think if you take the time to get to know them yourselves, you are likely to have a similar experience.
I have spent a fair amount of time reflecting on and experiencing firsthand how movements and organisations work.
I confess, I’ve sat through countless meetings where I’m quietly watching mini ego wars and power plays unfold, thinking to myself this group is not really going anywhere – and seeing firsthand how trust deficits really scuttle even the best intentions.
Abim’s leaders are nowhere near perfect. I’m not here to over romanticise them, or paint them as some sort of angels.
But what I have observed is the value of being together, working towards the same goals, for a long time. What I’ve really been moved by is the degree to which their leaders trust each other, and truly see each other as part of a family and community.
This is not something one whips into existence overnight. It is borne from having gone through thick and thin together for years, or sometimes even decades. It creates strong personal bonds, and a feeling that you do this work not just for yourself or for the nation, but for your brothers and sisters as well.
I’ve also reflected on what kind of people are drawn to what type of organisation.
Political parties are often a route to fame and riches. There are no riches, and very little fame, in an organisation like Abim. There is pretty much only work – and a somewhat endless supply of it.
The flip side of that of course, is that it tends to attract a certain type of person – the type of person who is more interested in trying to contribute some good to the world around them, rather than making a quick buck.
As alluded to in my first point, this does not mean they are financially naive. It just means that if huge sums of money are the most important thing in your life, you’d be pretty stupid to devote your time to an organisation like Abim.

Sunday, 19 Jul 2020 07:37 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim) welcomes efforts to amend the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Act 1959 (Revised 1978, Amendment and Extension 1995) to empower the use of the Malay language in the country.

Its president Muhammad Faizal Abdul Aziz said Abim supports any effort to consolidate laws on the use of the national language, to ensure the correct use of the language.

“As we already know, language is an important medium to strengthen the role of institutions and be able to uphold the language, literature and knowledge among the people,” he said in a statement here, today.

Muhammad Faisal was referring to the draft amendment of Section 2 of the National Language Act 1963/67 (Act 32), which will give DBP the authority to enforce laws relating to the use of the Malay language, which has been prepared since early 2019.

Meanwhile, in another statement, he said Abim fully supports the government’s decision not to proceed with the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), and at the same time called for the Dual Language Programme (DLP) to be abolished.

The government should revert to the national language policy in national education, which has been sidelined due to the implementation of DLP, he said.

“The implementation of the DLP will not only continue the failure of PPSMI which has been proven through academic studies but is also a form of victimisation of students, parents and teachers.

“Giving the autonomy to schools, parents and teachers to choose between DLP/ PPSMI and the Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening Command of English Language (MBMMBI) policy does not make any sense and at the same time is against the mission to uphold the Malay language,” he added.

Abim urges the Education Ministry to return back to focus on efforts to strengthen the English language by upgrading and revising the learning modules in schools.

On July 15, Senior Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin said the ministry has no plans to reintroduce PPSMI in schools. — Bernama

VARIOUS relief initiatives have been launched to ease the burden of groups impacted by Covid-19 and the Movement Control Order (MCO).

One such initiative is the #FrontlinersFirst project by Projek Wawasan Rakyat (POWR) that support the Health Ministry (MoH) staff with urgent childcare requirements.

Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) president and POWR coordinator Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz said there are very few alternatives in childcare services as it must be licensed.

“At the same time, these groups also run the risk of exacerbating the spread of Covid-19,” he said in a statement recently.

According to him, POWR aims to raise funds to support at least 50% of the childcare costs, collaborating with childcare service platform KiddoCare who are reducing their rates for MoH frontliners.

“There may also, as of yet, still be insufficient measures in place to ensure the livelihoods of small-time traders whose businesses will be nearly shut down completely by the MCO.

“Many such Malaysians depends on extremely small incomes, and will not have the financial means necessary to provide for their families over a long period of business shutdowns,” he added.

As such, he called for the government to redirect resources from political leaders to frontliners and vulnerable groups including low-income earners, the elderly, the homeless, migrant workers, and refugees.

Muhammad Faisal suggested that the government could emulate the move undertaken by the Singapore government where its ministers and holders of political office will be taking pay cuts while giving bonuses to government servants in the front lines combating the virus.

“The latest Cabinet is significantly larger than the previous ones, and the additional salaries for ministers, deputy ministers, political secretaries and all the various attendant staff are all extremely high.

“Thus, sufficient measures must be taken immediately as Malaysian frontliners are facing massive burdens,” he added.

Meanwhile, prominent food bank The Lost Food Project (TLFP) GM Mohd Syazwan Mokhtar said that although TLFP is still operating its food distribution services, they are in middle of looking at ways to continue providing sustenance to its most critical charities due to the Covid- 19 crisis.

“Although ‘feeding the hungry, not the landfill’ is our mantra, we look at this critical time to focus on providing food for the needy first particularly when food source becomes scarce, especially for the B40 group,” Mohd Syazwan said in a statement last Friday.

He mentioned that TLFP is looking at ways to collaborate with food delivery service to provide cooked meals to some of its charities.

“A platform will also be launched soon to allow people to contribute as these meals will incur some cost for preparation,” he said.

Mohd Syazwan stressed that all of the efforts will be conducted within the MCO guidelines and TLFP is tailoring its operational procedures to suit health and safety standards during this time.

“Beyond this crisis, TLFP is determined to continue and grow our operations, work with more partners and stakeholders to ensure that we are able to provide to more underprivileged communities,” he added.

Separately, MoH DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) is encouraging the spirit of helping among Malaysians when he tweeted that the nation should protect the elderly and those with medical conditions.

“Help them so as they don’t need to leave home and teach them to protect themselves,” he said on his Twitter account last Friday. Sources: The Malaysian Reserve.

 

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim), National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and People’s Vision Project (PoWR) today launched a special fund to facilitate journalists in carrying out their duties during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The project aimed at raising donations to cover the cost of certain items such as face masks, disinfectant and other necessities to be given free of charge to journalists.

“The project is a sign of solidarity among Malaysians to appreciate the sacrifice of journalists on duty who face uncertain risks in order to provide fast and accurate reports to the people.

“The struggles of journalists should not be overlooked especially in ensuring that they are always healthy and safe while carrying out their duties,” said the organisations in a joint statement here today.

It said individuals and organisations wanting to help could channel their contributions to the Public Bank account number 3077428903 (National Union of Journalists Malaya). — Bernama

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