The meaning of politics according to the Oxford dictionary.
- The activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.
- The activities of governments concerning the political relations between states.
- The academic study of government and the state.
- A particular set of political beliefs or principles.
- The principles relating to or inherent in a sphere or activity, especially when concerned with power and status.
- Activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organization.
The keywords seem to be government, state, country, power, status, parties and political beliefs or principles. I find this shallow and merely technical. I would say that politics must be build upon the land and nature that sustains lives including humans. It must not be made for administrative borders and the well being of just humans.
If we don’t work to save and secure the environment and ecology, human survival will become uncertain and then politics will be futile. Continue reading
We know that people have been sharing and bartering since the earliest civilizations began. So, there is nothing innovative about farmers sharing their tools and we letting our friends to stay over at our place for a night or two. These have more to do with sharing and nothing in terms of business.
It’s different when people do similar things with strangers for a fee. Technology has delivered ease of use and convenience for organizing a wide range of peer-to-peer commercial exchange that has given birth to Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit and many more.
Uber and Lyft, for example, enable individuals to turn their own cars into taxis. These individuals have the liberty to decide when to drive and for how long. For some of them it’s a gig and for many others it’s the main source of income. Airbnb enables residential property owners to turn their properties into hotels and TaskRabbit is your errand boy. Continue reading
I despise political parties. I wish for the demise of them all. But then political parties and politicians are the norm of politics and state leadership in the present context.
Having accepted this bitter pill, in my opinion a political leader must never assert himself or herself as a religious leader. A political leader who takes up position in the administration of a state or nation must always discuss ideas and programs that would bring social and economic progress to the community he or she serves. This goes to all political parties too as a whole. Continue reading
Social Progress Index (SPI) is a new framework used to measure the state of social progress of a country or a region. It has 52 measurement indicators defined within 3 major aspects, these are, Basic human needs, Foundations of well-being and Opportunity. It basically defines what it means and what it takes to be a good society. Continue reading
Vernacular schools and English proficiency are two issues of Malaysian education system that crop up time and again. These topics have been and still are the juice for a cacophony of debates and discussions over the national media. I too have wondered long on these issues and now ready to add another string of complexity to this matter in tangles. Continue reading
It is easily understandable when Malaysians celebrated the day of independence in 1957 and repeated it for a couple of following decades. It was real freedom after centuries of occupation by colonizers. Freedom to move forward with our own free will and to decide our own destiny. It’s a great thing to celebrate. However, celebrating it beyond a couple of decades in the same format we have today is, according to me, not acceptable. Continue reading
Winston Churchill once said, ‘We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.’ Likewise, our public spaces shape our community identity and who we are.
It is less of a trend and has been the reality in the cities around the world that more and more people are coming and living in them. It is a fact that most people will be living in cities in the future. A lot of talks about innovation in city planning, real estate development, architecture, energy, transportation, housing and even tourism have been going on. While one group is busy with plans to accommodate more people and infrastructure within cities, I hear the voices of movements and community leaders reminding and promoting the need for public spaces in the cities where people would come together freely and have a good time. Continue reading
OpenStreetMap is an open initiative to create and provide free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them.
– OpenStreetMap Foundation
Maps and location data has become big business. GPS equipped consumer products such as cars and mobile phones are ubiquitous. The company that has the most complete geographic data becomes the sought after source of location based information. That company has been Google with it’s Google Maps service. There is also no lack of competitors to it’s maps business. Continue reading
I found an interesting talk by Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin on Youtube. The title of the talk is “Islam and Inter-Religious Relationship” and supposedly it was held at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on 21 Dec 2013. It’s in Malay and this is my attempt to translate it into English. The following will be the excerpts from the talk, an absolute straight forward translation without any of my own thoughts or opinions. I hope I’ve kept it as close to the talk as possible.
First of all I would like to touch on a number of important aspects for us to understand the environment of Muslims of today which is not the same as the environment of Muslims when they had their empire. During the time when they were in the lead, probably whatever they did was considered a standard or respectable. This is due to Islam which was regarded as a “brand” of high value. And then when we face an environment like today, where Islam is condemned as a religion of violence, intolerance and the cause of so much problems in the world. So, sometimes when we’re talking about topics like this, we’re driven without a choice to not to speak in the tone of someone who is promoting his religion. But, to speak in the tone of an accused in the court room who has been forced to defend his religion. This is what sometimes becomes the reality, where topics such as this one are created as tough we’re forced to defend Islam from accusations that it disrespects and do not tolerate other religions. Continue reading