FLAT EARTH?

by Wan Zamzaidi Wan Zakaria

Throughout our lives, we have seen many scientific theories that has been fed to us from the big bang theory, to the Darwin theory of evolution, and many more. Moving forward into this millennium era, another theory of science has been increasingly getting the attention of the public is the ‘flat earth theory’. The flat earth theory didn’t just recently arise as a topic of belief. The flat earth theory could be identified during the dark ages where Christianity did not support the idea that the world was spherical (Allergo, 2017). However from the 7th century, monks and scholars have come up with writing on evidence to show that the world is round. The Islamic world also concurred to the same ideas with their beliefs and scholars and nobody had issues with this idea (Crindle, 1987). Beyond academics of the world, even an empty headed sailor recognized that the earth was spherical with the obvious fact that ships disappear over the horizon with the bottom first the sail to be the last of sight. The same idea applies when seeing land from ships. Evidently from these ideas, it is obvious that the surface curves continually at a certain point, making it one of the clear evidence that the world is spherical.

However, there are percentage of people from around the world who still believes that the world is flat! In a simple poll done in 2018 by the massive market research firm YouGov, results showed that;

  • 84% of respondents said they have always believed the world is round
  • 5% stated “I always thought the world is round, but more recently I am skeptical/have doubts”,
  • 2% stated “I always thought the world is flat, but more recently I am skeptical/have doubts”
  • and 2% went with “I have always believed the world is flat”.
  • The remaining 7% stated “Other/not sure”.

The results shows a small number of flat-earth believers, but is in on a rise as the power of the digital media especially the internet are increasingly showing more and more content that influence and suggest that the world is flat. People who believes in this flat earth theory are more widely known as flat-earthers, and every day, their flat earth society is convincing others with their flat earth society movements (Hiskey, 2019).

So, what does flat-earth-society believes in?

The flat earth society was formed to promote what they think is a misconception of how earth is believed to be spherical. One of the beliefs of this society is that earth is actually shaped like a disc, with the outer rings being Antarctica acts as a border of ice walls. Gravity is formed because earth is moving forward like a rocket creating downward energy, while the moon and the sun is circling on top of the earth disc. (The Flat Earth Society, 2019)

They believe that the earth’s night and day cycle happens when the moon and the sun circles the atmosphere of the earth like a spotlight, whereas gravity is an illusion. The flat earth is said to be accelerating upwards hence pushing us down creating a sense of ‘false gravity’. What lies underneath earth is unknown because there has been no exploration and they believe that the world powers (governments) are purposely avoiding people from exploring this. From their point of view, it just might be pile or soil and rocks. These are among the elaborate geometric theories that flat-earthers have come up with to supposedly make it all work.

The resurgence of the flat earth conspiracy 

We knew that the earth was round since more than 2000 years ago. How can it be possible that people are still arguing about this despite all the scientific facts and evidence that is clearly available? In our everyday life, at a certain degree we may feel like the world is flat through experience. However, this belief can only exist if the people ignore the centuries of evidence that have been accumulated showing that the earth is spherical.

With the new media especially the internet, it has helped this society to influence more people by tapping into high profile people such as celebrities and influencers in social media to slowly plant the flat earth theory into the minds of the public. Slowly, this theory is making a rise in social media platforms. The new generation that we live in nowadays consists of many social media users, but not many are actually media literate people. Online users tend to read through content that does not have research credibility with weak resources. However, because the social media platform are widely used, it creates a sense of belonging to the users and does have an effect towards their subconscious minds to believe in something even if they don’t know anything about.

Apart from that, studies have shown that people that tend to believe in conspiracy theories have the psychological need to be ‘unique’ and different from other people (Lantian, Muller, Cecile, & Douglas, 2017). What could be more unique than believeing in something that could be so outlandish? Because of a social trend that is growing like mushrooms in the social media, people tend to jump on the bandwagon to be part of something they do not know entirely. A psychologist research from University or Kent, Karen Douglas added that all conspiracy theories share a basic thrust. They present an alternative theory about an important issue or event, and construct an (often) vague explanation for why someone is covering up that “true” version of events. “One of the major points of appeal is that they explain a big event but often without going into details,” she said. “A lot of the power lies in the fact that they are vague.”

The movement of the flat-earth-society also have effects on the way the public perceives the authorities. They believes that it is just something the powerful people trying to hide, but form what? And because of these beliefs, it is indirectly cultivating people to disregard the authorities and also scientific evidence that have existed throughout of the century. In a way, it is considered dangerous as it may create more waves of conspiracy theories that will influence people to discard actual science and evidence.

So which side are you in? Is the earth is flat, or spherical?

References

(2019, April 12). Retrieved from The Flat Earth Society: https://www.tfes.org/

Allergo, J. J. (2017). The bottom of the universe: Flat earth science in the Age of Encounter. Sage Journals, 61-85.

Crindle. (1987, 6 25). Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography. Retrieved from Christian Topography: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cosmas_00_1_preface.htm

Hiskey, D. (2019, April 12). Retrieved from Today I FOund Out: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2019/06/who-started-the-flat-earth-conspiracy-theory-how-many-actually-believe-this-and-what-do-they-believe-exactly/

Lantian, A., Muller, D., Cecile, N., & Douglas, K. M. (2017). “I know things they don’t know!”: The role of need for uniqueness in belief in conspiracy theories. Social Psychology 48(3), 160-173.

Future banks in Malaysia

by Muhammad Hasif Bin Che Kar

Age can be just a number for some, but for this research the age gap different could mean everything. As generations grow, we can see baby boomers that are born between 1946 to 1964, which post-cold war era, very optimistic about the future. During this time, they have a good economic opportunity, ­ (Wj Schoroer, 2004). While the millennials or gen Y were born between 1974-1994, this two-age gap has different timeline over the years. In terms of technology, these two generation has different ways of accepting and use technology.

The millennials are ‘media-conscious’ of everything that’s happening in the world, in their tip of their fingers. Moreover, there are known as digital natives. Facetime and social media play vital role in their communicating channel.  While generations before that have the traditional media ritual, whereby newspaper reports play bigger role than reporting. For generations before the millennials, newspaper act as not only reporting but also news validating. The senior generations find it difficult to accept changes that have been made rapidly, (Dlodlo & Mafini, 2013).

For generation X, they are no specific years on what year they were born, but they are also known as digital immigrants. They form of communications are personal computers, and SMS and email play significant role in their life (Linnes & Metcalf, 2017). They are the generations after baby boomers and exposed to technology early in their life. They have exposed to technology whether by their workplace or devices.

In contrast these generation have evolved, from normal phone to smart phones, to social media. next, we are looking at sectors that also involved heavily with technology nowadays, and what has it compare to generations before.

Bank is financial institution that provide service such as safeguard money, accepting deposits, and provide loans. These types of service are few objectives why the bank is important. Together with the evolution of time and technology, banking sector has also evolved to provide facilities, payments service and insurance, (Shod & Ganga, 2016). Throughout the years, banking has been segmented to commercial banking, investment banking and housing finance. These separations were maintained by various forms of official regulation such as exchange control and lending constraints, (Bowen, Hoggarth, & Pain, 2016).

The increasing tempo of economic activity lead to tremendous increase in volume and complexity of banking activity. Banks have now come out to fulfill national responsibilities through catering to the needs of agricultures, industrialist, traders and all to all other section of the society. Transferring money to overseas, or payments to international account have to go through banking activity which expand the role of banking for more than just daily banking activity, (Kwak, Lee, Park, & Moon, 2010).

The year of 2000 see the new dawn of banking sector. Fintech or financial Technology has been created and slowly taken over the use of manual banking to online banking. Companies such as Ali Baba and Tencent has grown to ease the china market banking transaction. Many of the develop countries and developing countries has offer similar platform in financial sectors, these countries are embracing FinTech waves as they come in plain sight (Bowen, Hoggarth, & Pain, 2016).

References

Bowen, A., Hoggarth, G., & Pain, D. (2016). The recent evolution of the UK banking industry and some implications for financial stability. business and banking faculty, 22-45.

DELOITTE. (2017). EMBRACING A DIGITAL FUTURE. NEW YORK: DELOITTE ANALYSIS.

Dlodlo, N., & Mafini, C. (2013). The relationship between technology acceptance and frequecy or mobile commerce use amongst Generation Y consumers. Acta commercii 13(1), 8 pages.

Kwak, H., Lee, C., Park, H., & Moon, S. (2010). WHAT IS TWIITER, A SOCIAL NETWORK OR A NEWS MEDIA? DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE, 26-30.

Linnes, C., & Metcalf, B. (2017). iGeneration and their acceptance of technology. International Journal of management and information system, Volume 21, Number 2.

Shod, & Ganga. (2016). Introduction of Indian Banking System. Shod and gangga journal banking sector, 1-3.

Wj Schoroer. (2004, february 4). social marketing. Retrieved from Generations X,Y,Z and the others: http://socialmarketing.org/archives/generations-xy-z-and-the-others/

CYBER-ATTACKS ON PERSPECTIVES OF ECONOMICS

by Zaliha binti Idris

The cyber risk landscape is growing rapidly in many fields. The government faces an unprecedented level of cyber-attacks and threats with the potential to undermine national security and critical infrastructure, while businesses that store customer information and confidential client’s online struggle to maintain their reputation amid massive data violations.

The potential economic impact of cyber threats cannot be underestimated. Economic have been warned of digital disintegration (The Global Risks 2014 report, 2014). A scenario in which cyberspace can be truly undermined because it strengthens attacks where the internet is no longer a trusted medium for communication or trade, at a high cost to the economy and society.

Cyber-attacks are now happening all over the world at an increasingly fast pace. Recently, the Office of Personnel Management in United States of America announced that hackers stole social security numbers and other sensitive information for more than 21 million people. Sony Pictures has a company and hacked personal email and also salary information for vice presidents and executives. Stuxnet is a US and Israeli computer virus that has been rumoured to attack centrifuges that are used to control machines that are important for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. As more companies and governments rely on the internet, this makes them vulnerable to malicious cyber-attacks from groups of hackers and countries that use hackers to infiltrate countries with sensitive computer systems (Mike & Jack, 2015).

There is a very urgent need for cyber security professionals to fill the many white-collar loopholes that have sprung up when companies struggle to protect their programs from outside attacks. Recent casualties include well-known brands such as eBay, Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels Stores, NATO, JPMorgan Chase, Adobe, Social life and the list continues.

For our country, the government is seriously considering the threat of cyber-attacks in line with the rapid development of information and communications technology in the country. The reliance on the use of information technology for socio-economic development could pose a threat and cyber-attacks if not protected. Based on statistics produced by Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT), 7,962 cyber threats were reported over the last year. Malaysia was no exception to the threat of cyber-attacks and the country ranked third among 193 countries in the world in terms of commitment to cyber security based on the Global Cyber ​​Security Index (GCI) 2017. This is because of today’s industrial development is based on the digital economy and the challenges to tackle this threat are increasingly difficult.

Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation claimed that they will help to develop research and development of cyber security incubation to remain competitive. Cyber ​​Security is information technology security, focusing on the protection of computers, networks, programs and data from unwanted or illegal access, change or destruction. Cyber ​​security affects us all when we are online, using a mobile device or tablet, or using cloud-based services. We all interact with various tools designed to protect your personal information, similar to the tools used to protect our country’s infrastructure. It’s important for everyone to understand cyber security and our role in being safe while staying connected to minimize the possibility of incidents (CHIPS Magazine, 2014).

Cyber ​​Security can be defined as activities or processes, capabilities or capabilities, or countries where information and communication systems and information contained in them are protected from or defended against unauthorized damage, use or modification, or exploitation. Cyber ​​Security focuses on protecting computers, mobile devices, tablets, networks, programs, and data from unauthorized access or manipulation. Understanding cyber security is the first step to protecting yourself, your family and your organization (Melike, Ali, Ihsan, Aysenur, & Murat, 2019).

Cyber ​​threats are real a danger and the government should be worried on this issue. The economy, financial, and national security can be breached by the cyber-attacks. For example, we discussed on Malaysia’s scenario in economics. The study reveals that the potential economic loss in Malaysia due to cyber security incidents can hit a staggering US$12.2 billion (RM 49.6 billion). This is more than 4 per cent of Malaysia’s total GDP of US$296 billion (RM1.2 trillion) (based on studies by Microsoft in collaboration with Frost & Sullivan). The study revealed that a large-sized organization in Malaysia can possibly incur an economic loss of US$22.8 million (RM92.6 million), more than 630 times higher than the average economic loss for a mid-sized organization (US$36,000) and the cyber security attacks have resulted in job losses across different functions in three in five (61%) of organizations that have experienced an incident over the last 12 months (Sugriiva, 2018).

To calculate the cost of cybercrime, Frost & Sullivan (2018) has created an economic loss model based on macro-economic data and insights shared by the survey respondents. This model factors in three kinds of losses which could be incurred due to a cyber-security breach. There are direct, indirect and induced. Firstly, direct is a financial losses associated with a cyber-security incident which included loss of productivity, fines, remediation cost, etc. Second, indirect is the opportunity cost to the organization such as customer churn due to reputation loss and lastly, induced in which that was the impact of cyber breach to the broader ecosystem and economy, such as the decrease in consumer and enterprise spending. There are many other hidden losses that we have to consider from both the indirect and induced perspectives, and the economic loss for organizations suffering from cyber security attacks can be often underestimated. In addition to financial losses, cyber security incidents are also undermining Malaysia organizations’ ability to capture future opportunities in today’s digital economy, with more than three in five (62%) respondents stating that their enterprise has put off digital transformation efforts due to the fear of cyber-risks based on the studies by Frost and Sullivan (Sugriiva, 2018).

Although high-profile cyber-attacks, such as ransom ware, have been garnering a lot of attention from enterprises, the study found that for organizations in Malaysia that have encountered cyber security incidents, data exfiltration and data corruption are the biggest concerns as they have the highest impact with the slowest recovery time (Sugriiva, 2018).

In a world where cyber threats are a constant danger, companies find themselves in a continuing battle to keep their data safe. A large amount of risk now exists because cyber criminals are constantly looking for new ways to break our boundaries and get our vital information. However, did you know that 99.9% of exploitation is possible because the organization does not handle basic security cleanliness? The fact is that many industries focus on the wrong things, often using basically defective security strategies and ultimately not providing the right protection that they need (Andy, 2016-2017).

REFERENCES

Andy, G. (2016-2017). Breaking Into Information Security: Learning The Ropes 101. Retrieved March 26, 2019, from Leanpub: https://kyhwana.keybase.pub/books/breaking%20into%20infosec%20.pdf

CHIPS Magazine. (2014, October 16). Cybersecurity or Convenience? Retrieved mARCH 26, 2019, from CHIPS: https://www.doncio.navy.mil/CHIPS/ArticleDetails.aspx?ID=5594

Melike, E., Ali, K., Ihsan, K., Aysenur, B., & Murat, C. (2019). A Fuzzy Based MCDM Methodology for Risk Evaluation of Cyber Security Technologies. International Conference on Intelligent and Fuzzy Systems (INFUS 2019: Intelligent and Fuzzy Techniques in Big Data Analytics and Decision Making) (pp. 1042 – 1049). Switzerland: Springer, Cham.

Mike, L., & Jack, D. (2015, July 9). 22 Million Affected by OPM Hack, Official Say. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from abc News: https://abcnews.go.com/US/exclusive-25-million-affected-opm-hack-sources/story?id=32332731

Sugriiva, P. (2018, July 12). Cybersecurity threats to cost organizations in Malaysia US$12.2 billion in economic losses. Retrieved March 26, 2019, from Microsoft Malaysia News Center: https://news.microsoft.com/en-my/2018/07/12/cybersecurity-threats-to-cost-organizations-in-malaysia-us12-2-billion-in-economic-losses/

The Global Risks 2014 report. (2014). Part 2: Risks in Focus:2.4 Digital Disintegration. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from World Economic Forum: http://reports.weforum.org/global-risks-2014/part-2-risks-in-focus/2-4-digital-disintegration/?doing_wp_cron=1564101657.5671370029449462890625

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HALAL

by Nur Atikah binti Meor Rosli

Mass media is a medium or platform to reach large number of audiences. It can be divided into two categories namely electronic media which involves film, television, radio as well as recorded music, and print media which involves newspapers, books, pamphlets and comics. With the advancement of technology, media can be categorized as digital media that involves internet and mobile mass communication which provide services of mass media, i.e. emails, websites, blogs, and internet-based radio and television. There are several functions of media – it helps us interpret the past and encourages us to change what is necessary rather than stick to the status quo. We can learn technology by adopting new information from different sources of media as it has the ability to explain things that human beings are not able to which includes Halal certification towards basic needs of human being.

Halal certification in Malaysia is issued by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia and Islamic religious council of each state. Competent authority is the best tool in determining a product is genuine. Moreover, Malaysia has received several awards as the implication of Halal certification on food products. Although some suppliers do not provide the logo but most of the products are certified by JAKIM. The food products with Halal logo is produced to meet the Halal dietary requirements, standards, procedures and guidelines to be followed. This is also supported by (Sheikh Abdul Aziz, 2015) stated that, in order to ensure the halalness of each product, it is important to educate the industries on the concept of the “halalan thoyyiban” aspects which are related to the safety, nutritional content and aesthetic appeal of halal products. As Muslim, consumers need to seek for a product that is produce in compliance to Syariah which is based on the Quran and Sunnah as well as the Malaysian law.

Although, there are platforms with the information of Halal certification given but people are still confuse and questioning the importance of Halal. The major reasons that people should know about the Halal certification is that the cleanliness and purity of the process to produce the products and the existence of the logo is not just for Muslim but it is applicable for everyone because we need to consume product that is wholesome and healthy as well as free cruelty to animals and no harm to the environment. Previously, there were few cases involve with exploiting the Halal logo which form a huge confusion among Malaysians. One of the issue is that, both Vivian – Lee May Ling, 29 and Alvin – Tan Jye Yee, 30 have been arrested and fined due to the ‘Bak Kut Teh” posting on Facebook – July 3, 2013. They were charged with posting religiously insensitive pictures, inciteful content and pornographic pictures. The photo shows them eating ‘Bak Kut Teh’, a non-halal delicacy, with the greeting “Selamat Berbuka Puasa” and a halal logo. The picture went viral and sparked anger among Malaysians especially the Muslim society as they realized that ‘Bak Kut Teh’ is forbidden in Islam. Thus, they were charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948, fined RM5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 3 years or both. The confusion will not be developed if the knowledge of Halal being implemented by human. This is because the Halal certification provide countless benefits and it is guarantee that the products are safe and clean for consumers.

Nevertheless, people today are aware with the usage of Halal logo and they have strong demand on the products because they claimed that the product with the certification is much more healthier and safer compare to product without the Halal certification. It is also supported by (R, M., Nasir & Chiew, 2010)where they stated that, Non-Muslim Russians made purchases from Muslim stores because they believe the products are fresh, safe and infection- free, and had confidence that Muslims would adhere. It is also supported by (Othman, Shaarani & Bahron, 2017) that. the emphasis on quality as well as hygiene and food safety is not necessarily something that really halal. Although the products are certified with Halal logo but it does not ensure that the product is safe to be consumed. Based on Surah Al-Baqarah in verse 168: O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. The statement above is supported by (Abd Rahim, Mohd Mansor, Yakob, & Ismail, September 2018) mentioned that, it is clear that places great emphasis on Allah SWT viewed about the cleanliness in everything including the quality of handling food from raw material until it is ready to be consumed. 

Halal logo can be associated with hygiene and food safety and it is clear that “Bak Kut Teh” is not suitable and forbidden for Muslims because of the procedure of slaughtering the animal which does not follow the Quran and Sunnah. The statement above is supported by (Ahadith, n.d.) from chapter 5, Surah Al-Mai’idah (The Table Spread with Food) mentioned in verse 3. Forbidden to you(for food) are: Al-Maytatah(the dead animals-cattle-beast not slaughtered), the blood, the flesh of swine and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allah Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns – and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it(before its death) – and that which is sacrificied (slaughtered) on An-Nusub(stone altars).

Source: Sample of Halal Verified Engine by Department of Islamic Development Malaysia Retrieved from https://www.halalverified.com/Halnet/Details/1
Source: Halal Logo by Halal Malaysia Official Portal. Retrieved from http://www.halal.gov.my/v4/index.php?data=bW9kdWxlcy9uZXdzOzs7Ow==&utama=panduan&ids=gp1

Moreover, according to  (Amran, 2018), JAKIM has identified and recognized Halal bodies worldwide – namely Austria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia, Brunei, Kanada, Chile, Egypt, Perancis, Jerman, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Maldives, Maghribi, Poland, Singapura, Korea Selatan, Sepanyol, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Arab Emiriah Bersatu (UAE) and Vietnam. Based on the above locations, it can be explained that Halal food or products have significant impact on Halal food entrepreneur and contributes to the country’s economy. This shows that people are more interested to purchase products with Halal recognition. According to Ustaz Amin from Masjid Tunku Mizan, UiTM Shah Alam, Malaysia based on his islamic perspective – Respecting each other is an advised attitude in Islam. Each and every Muslim in the world who have faith towards Allah SWT should have respect to Muslims and non-Muslims as well. The differences between cultures becomes a challenge but it has its own silver lining. We should take the benefit from the differences that we have to become more mature. The statement above was taken from Surah Al-Hujurat verse 13 which states, “O mankind! We have indeed created you from male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah is Knower, Aware.”

Source: Halal Certification Procedures. Retrieved from http://www.halalanquality.com/index.php/halal/halal-certification-procedures

The power of media is that people are able to provide and influence others with fake information through advertisement, pictures and messages. Nowadays, the content can be associated with implicit elements which does not affect the audience’s perception and behaviour immediately but if the medium is being used to encourage and provide genuine information especially towards Halal certification, people would be able to live a healthy life style without feeling doubtful. The government agency also plays an important role to ensure the product is verified so that we can educate and produce more Halal products worldwide.

References

Abd Rahim, S. A., Mohd Mansor, S. K., Yakob, M. A., & Ismail, N. (2018). FOOD SAFETY, SANITATION AND PERSONAL HYGIENE IN FOOD HANDLING: AN OVERVIEW FROM ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), Volume 9, Issue 9, pp. 1524–1530.
Retrieved from http://www.iaeme.com/MasterAdmin/UploadFolder/IJCIET_09_09_148/IJCIET_09_09_148.pdf

Ahadith, Q. &. (n.d.). AYATS RELATED TO HALAL FOODS FROM QURAN E KAREEM. Halal Guider.
Retrieved from http://www.halalguider.com/page.php?sluge=QuranAhadith%20about%20Food

Amran, S. N. (2018). JAKIM IKTIRAF 66 BADAN PENSIJILAN HALAL LUAR NEGARA. Kuala Lumpur: Berita Harian Online.
Retrieved from https://www.bharian.com.my/berita/nasional/2018/02/388093/jakim-iktiraf-66-badan-pensijilan-halal-luar-negara

Othman, B., Shaarani, S. M., & Bahron, A. (2017). The influnce of knowledge, attitude abd sensitivity to government policies in halal certification process on organizational performance. Journal of Islamic Marketing.
Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304280352_THE_EFFECT_OF_HALAL_REQUIREMENT_PRACTICES_ON_ORGANIZATION_PERFORMANCE_AMONG_FOOD_MANUFACTURES_IN_MALAYSIA

R, F. G., M., Z., Nasir, M., & Chiew, E. (2010). Non-Muslim perception awarness of halal principle and related food products in Malaysia. International Food Reserach Journal 7 .
Retrieved from http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/11717/1/NonMuslims_awareness_of_Halal_principles.pdf

Sheikh Abdul Aziz, D. W. (2015). MANUAL PROCEDURE FOR MALAYSIA HALAL CERTIFICATION (THIRD REVISION)2014. Putrajaya: Department of Islamic Development Malaysia.
Retrieved from http://www.halal.gov.my/v4/images/pdf/protocol%20halal%20meat%20poultry.pdf

DO NOT VIRAL. MAKE USE OF RESPONS RAKYAT TO LODGE COMPLAINT IN JUST A CLICK

by Mariani binti Abdul Razak

Did you experience waiting so long to be entertained by the service counter? Dealing with rude and snobbish staff? Poor accommodations and closed counter? These are some of the circumstances that might occur when we use or seek for services in the public sector. It may even occur in some private organizations. Others countries also face the same problems and good governance is needed in order to handle the complaints.

Many years back, I had experienced dealing with one agency that had made me wait more than 5 hours. Waiting is torture for me as time would move so slowly and it would make me tired and upset. However, I have no choice besides being patient and wait in order to get my errands done. When asked about the waiting time, the common answer is that “you will be entertained shortly”. The response causes me to become more upset and have the mind-set that the service industry will never change.

Yes, we understand the overload of customers that the public sector has to cater, but it is not an excuse for poor service. Most people will get frustrated when something does not meet their expectations. It becomes worse when the matter is brought upon social media and becomes viral. These days, this is the way people release their frustrations and anger towards something especially anything that involves services given by the public sector. Controlling your anger is a very crucial step to settle the problem in a diplomatic way.  

The government has introduced various programmes and initiative to improve the delivery of public service as we are moving forwards to the fourth wave of industrial revolution. Innovation is the main ideology in improvising these services. Our government has a mechanism to handle public complaint in a systematic way. Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) has been given the responsibility and a big role to handle public complaint towards the public sector ministries and agencies (Aziz, 2016). According to (Laporan Tahunan Biro Pengaduan Awam, 2018) stated in year 2017 BPA received 5,386 complaint cases. About 636 complaints or 8.3% is come from ‘Rakyat Responz’ sources. Others come from multiple sources which linkage to BPA agency. Meanwhile breakdown for complaint classification which is 3,232 complaints equal to 60% is complaint against ministries and Federal Agencies. Another 40% equal to 2,154 complaints is against State Government Agencies.

PCB has not missed out on the latest technological advancements. As the public nowadays are moving forward by using technology in their daily lives especially with mobile phones as a gadget for many things such as reminders, calendar, camera, voice recordings and many other features, PCB had put an effort towards their initiative to build a mobile application called ‘Rakyat Responz’ in 2016 and rebranding it to ‘Respons Rakyat’ in 2019 with add on features. This application is also known as RR and can be downloaded on mobile phones via Apple apps Store and Google Store.[WN1]  (Kannan & Babulal, 2019).

 The Respons Rakyat apps can be download with the link:


“Source: Google Play Store”
“Source: App Store”

What is so special about RR? Will our complaints be entertained? How fast is the response time? Just relax and stay for more input about RR. Many of us are probably not aware of this application within the marketplace and do not know the right channel to lodge a complaint. By using RR, the public can lodge a complaint by just a click on their mobile phones no matter the place or time. It also caters to all public sector agencies.

I would like to share the benefits of this application. RR comes with great functionalities where you can put upload pictures, video recordings and voice notes as an attachment for the complaint. The files that are uploaded become an evidence to the complaint that is made and can be forwarded immediately. This is helpful for the investigation process later on and is used to cancel out fake complaints. The important thing is, this application also allows the complainant to track down the status of their complaints easily the chronology of action and any feedback can be reviewed by the complainant himself through the application. (Kannan & Babulal, 2019)

Nowadays, work process has changed and the public sector are more concerned towards achieving an excellent service for the nation. As I said before, I did not believe that complaints are able to change the public service industry. However today, it is true that our complaint is important and needs to be addressed properly. Complainants can help improve the quality of service by lodging a complaint to make sure the administration gets alerted with their weaknesses in serving the public.

I would like to advice the public to use a proper channel to make a complaint and not by make it viral without cause. This will only worsen the situation and does not bring any benefit to the customers as well as the agency. It only takes a second for you to address your concern by using the RR application on your mobile phone.

Furthermore, with the application, we don’t have to worry whether actions are taken on the complaint as we are able to monitor is ourselves. The application is made for two-way communication which is why we can ask for the administration to give a feedback as promised on their customer guideline.

Every problem comes with a solution. Complaints are not a burden anymore to the government, but it is a gift for improvement and to move forward for a better service. RR apps is one of the methods made for people to ensure they have a response for each complaint had been made to PCB. Just as simple 1, 2, 3 you can download the RR apps and using it right now.

References

Aziz, F. (2016, May 17). Got a complaint?Download the ‘Rakyat Responz’App and get it fixed within 15 days. Retrieved from New Straits Time: http:www.nst.com.my

Kannan, H. K., & Babulal, V. (2019, July 18). PM launches ‘Respons Rakyat 2.0’ mobile application. New Straits Time. Retrieved from The New Straits Time: http:www.nst.com.my

Laporan Tahunan Biro Pengaduan Awam. (2018). Putrajaya: Biro Pengaduan Awam.

BEATING THE HEAT

by Nur Amira Baharuddin

Ah, it’s hot outside! This could be the hottest day of the heat wave, so how do you keep yourself cool? Grumbling about the climate appears to be common nowadays. However, in areas where the mercury’s taking off, these are not mere complaints. Most parts of Malaysia have been experiencing exceptionally hot weather for the past few weeks. High temperatures have been recorded in some areas, while others recorded only moderate readings. So, in the event that you truly can’t stand the heat, consider to play it safe and think of your safety! Higher temperatures can affect our bodily system and mental capacity – and our pockets due to electric bills surges (Merill, 2019). Avoid being exposed to the hot spells.

For some people, hot nights are far more terrible than hot days. Lack of rest and fatigue can influence our adaptability to the warm climate, therefore, precaution measures should be taken seriously (Williams, 2010). Keep your shades and windows shut throughout the day until about 6 pm to reduce the impact of the sun on the air indoors. At night, open every window so you that may get a draft which can help cool the air once more. By doing so, you can reduce the heat, and obviously you don’t want your home to get excessively hot in the daytime, right?

Hydration is also important. Drink up and make bottle of water as your closest companion. Drink lots of water anytime and anywhere you can. If you sweat more than you usually do, it may be due to the climate change, make sure you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated (Gunnars, 2018; Iftikhar, 2018). A test to ensure he or she is well-hydrated is by checking the color of the person’s urine. When you are well-hydrated, the color of your urine should be between clear and light yellow. If it is the other way around, you know what to do, right? Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate by drinking more water.

Even though it is hot outside, it does not mean that you need to quit working out. You can become accustomed to exercising in the hot weather by taking these steps – opt for water sports instead, include short breaks in your exercise routines and keep away from the sun whenever you can. Precooling strategies can keep you from overheating when you workout in the sweltering climate (Vorvick, 2018). Be careful. Heat-related illnesses, including heat weariness, heat cramps or even worse, heat stroke, can always attack you, so beware!

You must also protect your skin. To do so, always remember to stay under the shade or apply sunscreen on your skin. Most people do not apply enough sunscreen to protect their skin. Always remember to “generous” when applying sunscreen as you surely don’t have the intention to be hospitalized for heat-induced skin problems, right? Be smart. Spending too much time under the sun too can increase the risk of you getting a heat stroke or sunburn (Mead, 2008). When you get sunburnt, it can cause severe pain and extreme discomfort. Limit your time outdoors, especially during the pinnacle hours of the hot days and make it a point to use sunscreen as well.

Indeed, even young and fit individuals can be affected by the sweltering climate. You need to ensure that you are well-hydrated. You must also avoid doing too many activities outdoors so that you can prevent from putting yourself in danger. If you don’t do this, you might suffer from heat exhaustion. When this occurs, you will start to feel dizzy. You could also suffer from heat stroke, which is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures (Stoppler, 2018). When you get heat stroke, it is like as if the proteins in your body are being “cooked”, causing serious harm to your body. When you’ve cooked an egg, you can’t uncooked it. Haha!

Apart from that, another way to beat the heat is by wearing loose garments and spending your daily activities in the shade. If you ever feel that you are suffering from symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, you must immediately take necessary steps to address the problem. Heat-related illnesses can be avoided as long as you take precaution during this hot and dry spell (Felson, 2017). Remember to avoid heavy work or activities, especially during the hottest hours of the day. If you need to mow the lawn or attend to your garden, for example, do it when it is not so hot outside. Always look out for cool spots to carry out your activities. Avoiding the heat can have great benefits not just to your body, but also your emotional and mental wellbeing.  

The hot weather may be little by little upsetting, especially in a country like Malaysia. People need to take precaution to beat the heat. Heat and humidity can affect us in many ways so don’t take them for granted and always remember to play it safe. May every one of you remain cool, safe and have a decent day!

REFERENCES

Felson, S. (2017, July 20). Understanding Heat-Related Illness — the Basics. Retrieved from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/understanding-heat-related-illness-basics

Gunnars, K. (2018, June 20). How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day? Retrieved from Healthline Media: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day

Iftikhar, N. (2018, September 28). Healthline Media. Retrieved from How Can You Tell If You’re Dehydrated?: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-tell-if-youre-dehydrated

Mead, M. N. (2008). Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(4), A160-A167.

Merrill, C. (2019, July 14). Summer Heat Can Take Its Toll. Retrieved from WeatherBug: https://www.weatherbug.com/news/Summer-Heat-Can-Take-Its-Toll

Stoppler, M. C. (2018, May 23). Heat Stroke Symptoms, Signs, First Aid, and Recovery. Retrieved from MedicineNet: https://www.medicinenet.com/heat_stroke/article.htm#heat_stroke_definition_and_facts

Vorvick, L. J. (2018, March 8). How to avoid overheating during exercise. Retrieved from MedlinePlus: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000865.htm

Williams, C. (2010). The Effects of Heat Acclimation Followed by Sleep Deprivation on Perceived Exertion, Thirst, and Thermal Sensations in Exercising Males. Honors Scholar Theses, 145.

2019 Women’s March: The endless fight for women’s rights

by Puteri Sarah Hanim Mohamad Shaiful

If your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook feed was a constant stream of images and video from the recent 2019 Women’s March, you were not alone. Social movements reflect dissatisfaction with socio-political environments and are a platform for communicating dissent. In other words, by mobilising large numbers of people, collective action can be taken to address discontent. Social media pages and online platforms allow us to connect and communicate with the world. We can share what is going on within the global community and take part in emerging conversations. Women have constantly been undermined in the eyes of our society, causing them to have to fight for the equality they know they deserve. This fight is known as the feminist movement and has been in the works for centuries. Although women have gained a lot since the start of the feminist movement, the fight for equality is still nowhere near over –from fighting for the right to vote years ago to the over pricing of feminine products now. 

Photo taken from the Malay Mail on 09 March 2019
by Ida Nadirah Ibrahim “In Women’s Day march, hundreds gather to demand end to patriarchy”

Thousands march for women’s rights, gender equality in KL  by Yimie Yong by The Star Online mentioned that, More than 100 women gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to take part in the #WomensMarchMy on March 9.  The event aimed to call for greater women’s rights. This is usually an open platform for women to put forth what they are fighting for. Several groups, including Women’s Aid Organisation, Sisters in Islam, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender activists, joined the rally. The near 1km walk spread over from Sogo Shopping Mall. During the walk, social activists and individuals of various foundations conveyed notices, banners, and standards. Nonetheless, it is dismal to realize that the open did not so much handle the targets of the walk as the general population were for the most part centered around the LGBT people group who joined the occasion. The gathering, as a feature of its #PelangiCampaign, accepted the open door to advocate for LGBT equivalent rights for all LGBT individuals during the walk.

Pic taken from @KuasaSiswa (Fahmi Reza) https://twitter.com/kuasasiswa/status/1105367379800813568?s=20

It must be noted that issues that are important to one group may not affect another or may not even be important to observers outside the sphere of concern in the Women’s March, yet it does not take away the fact that these are the issues that have to be tackled.

According to Arveent Kathirtchelcan in MalaysiaKini Understanding the Women’s March article, Many felt that specific requests in the Women’s March were unpalatable. One such picture from the occasion that has since turned into a web sensation demonstrates a lady conveying a notice expressing ‘Let My Nips Be Free’ close by an illustration of naked bosoms. The objection was centered around pictures, for example, these, censuring women’s activists for not discussing appropriate issues during the walk

Photo taken from Blogspot http://khairulryezal.blogspot.com/2019/03/malaysia-baru-lgbt-berleluasa.html

If you’re one of those who ask, “what else do women want?”, bear in mind that a number of issues were raised during the march. Here’s a list of things that women are — the elimination of gender discrimination, an end to violence against women, the strengthening of women’s rights, and a push for equal opportunities and wages.

The policing of women’s bodies, from what they wear to whether or not they wish to have a child, is up for discussion and everyone seems to have an opinion about these matters. The narrative that women should wear certain clothes and act in ways that’ll keep men from sexually harassing or raping them is problematic in so many ways.
Not only does it put the responsibility and blame on women, but is also an insult to men who are perfectly capable of respecting women. The issue of child marriages is not new in Malaysia. Every time a story of a much older man marrying a child is covered in the news, outraged comments and calls for the ban of child marriages can be heard only for the noise to gradually disappear after a while. Not this time. Advocates for the ban of child marriages are taking it to streets to call for the ban, without exceptions.

It’s a new year: a chance to move beyond the mistakes of the past and build a new beginning.  Women’s rights include rights that establish the same social, economic, and political status for women as for men. Women’s rights ensure that ladies won’t stand up to isolation dependent on their sex. Women’s rights is thought little of these days, yet when one looks at the clash of women, it goes out to that there is far to go to achieve real equalization. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that laws constrained by the organization regarding ladies rights made indisputably the most basic obstructions checking Women’s rights. Since most women missed the mark on the informational and fiscal resources that would enable them to challenge the social requests, women, all around, have recognized their inferior status as their singular decision. Women drove various administrative undertakings to ensure their throwing a poll, work and conceptive rights.

Women have had numerous incredible achievements with their challenge, yet many still choose to disregard the way that there is sexual separation. Men are still more regarded than Women. In addition to the fact that they receive more significant salary, however the items that are advertised towards them are less expensive than those showcased for women. In any case, new ages are overwhelming the development with even guys supporting women in their battle. The issue of women rights close by isn’t leaving at any point in the near future, however its developing fame offers would like to each one of those battling for correspondence.

REFERENCES

A.T.M Shahjahan, K.Chisty. (2014). “Social Media research and its effect on our society” . International journal of Information 7 communication Engineering , 2014.

Clark, Eric. . (2012). “Social Media & Social Movements: A qualitative study of Occupy Wall Street.”.

Yong, Y. (9 March, 2019). Thousands march for women’s rights, gender equality in KL. Retrieved from The Star Online : https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/03/09/thousands-march-for-womens-rights-gender-equality-in-kl/

Kathirtchelvan, A. (11 March, 2019). Understanding the Women’s March . Retrieved from MalaysiaKini : https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/467450

Remembering the victims of Christchurch shooting

by Muhammad Faiz bin Mokhtar

It has been two weeks since the event that changed the lives of not just Muslims, but to the rest of the world as well. The world is stunned by the news of the man who shot 50 people in a mosque  (ABC News New Zealand, 2019). This event will be a lasting memory in the minds of the people of the world. This act is not only devastating to the people around the world, but more importantly, the lives of their families as well as those who knew the victims personally. New Zealand, a country known for extreme sports such as bungee jumping and friendly people, is left shocked as such a crime is known to be rare in the country.in their history. As the incident is the first of its kind in New Zealand’s history, all media have been covering the incident on large scale for the few weeks.  This has given journalists a chance to inform the public about the shooting and its aftermath.

Social media presents a medium that is a cost-effective, which means it is interactive,  association and co-formation above communication that is one-to-many; integrates communication and distribution channels, provides customization opportunities, and delivers greater speed to the information communication and feedback (Shilbury, Westerbeck, Quick, Funk, & Karg, 2014) . Social media has given the platform for people to voice their concerns and it is a way that news can travel instantaneously into the minds of the citizens of the world. Internet presents a virtual public community allowing citizens to discuss public issues and make their voices heard (Zhou & Moy, 2007). When comparing with the traditional Internet and communication technologies (ICTs), social media manages the conversation content or interaction as an artifact of information in an online environment (Yates & Paquette, 2010). 

However, social media has become a message channel for the shooter to livestream his actions for the world to see. The shooter, armed with automatic rifle, gunned down 50 patrons of the mosque and he filmed the shooting live-streamed on Facebook (Wakefield, 2019). The video has been shared on social media through all platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, in which millions have watched this act of terror through their phones, laptops and tablets. Social media, despite its reach to reach millions of the world, has showcased to the users themselves what kind of content that they might see. Impressionable people may follow suit and some would be fearful of the world due to the fact that it is shown by the social media itself. Online media allows netizens to share their opinions, retorts, or pass remarks about a certain phenomenon (Ekawati, 2018).

Jacinda Ardern, a leader that sets the example

The world is left shocked and astonished by the act of the shooter, but one woman stood out among them all, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Being a leader, one must show compassion towards the victims, strength for the people to look upon and wisdom for her actions. Ardern is an example of how a leader should act. Rather than just offer condolences and sympathy, she showed compassion for the victims’ families. A disaster or an event that changes the perception of a nation will make the people around the world to shift their focus on her. As a leader, she must be an example to other leaders on how to act in times of distress and chaos. The picture below shows that she’s wearing a headscarf, which depicts her respect towards the victims’ religion and culture.

“You may have chosen us,” said Ardern, referring to the killer, anger in her voice. “But we utterly reject and condemn you.” (Roy, 2019)

“She has shown a quiet, strong leadership, and been very focused on looking after the people who are most affected straight away. The killer has barely been mentioned.” (Roy, 2019)

In The Guardian’s article, Roy interviewed Paul Buchanan, a security expert in the 36th Parallel.  Buchanan commented that:

“Saying that her strength was her empathy, and she has “excelled” in this arena during a time of crisis. She is also an expert delegator, Buchanan says, and has delegated security reviews and inquiries about how the killer was missed to senior, trusted colleagues, allowing her to focus on healing a traumatized country.

“She is like the mother of the nation. When it comes to events like this, I think her touch is near perfect,” says Buchanan.

“The way Trump and others talk, tough talk, after terror attacks, all that is posturing. And sometimes it is designed to mask weakness, sometimes it is a thirst for revenge. Ardern is doing none of that.”

“It is a leadership style that particularly suits New Zealand. New Zealand does have a serious dark side, it does have racism. But what she is doing is giving us a moment to confront these demons, this darkness and change our ways.”

Extracted from (Roy, 2019) article when interviewed Paul Buchanan, security expert in the 36th Parallel.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/19/real-leaders-do-exist-jacinda-ardern-uses-solace-and-steel-to-guide-a-broken-nation

The traits that a true leader should have exhibited under intense situation which are Compassion, truthfulness and composure. Therefore, it is no surprise that the world is lauding her and giving her positive comments along with support for her stance on the subject. People worldwide have been commending Arden’s actions throughout the whole ordeal.

A leader should always be quick in responding to critical or emergency situations such as the mass shooting. This can be seen in Arden’s decision to push for the ban on semi-automatic and automatic rifles in New Zealand. Not only that, owners of rifles too have resorted to relinquishing their own rifles in wake of the shooting out of respect (Graham-McLay, 2019).

New Zealand: Citizen’s response

New Zealand, a small nation east of Australia, known for agriculture and extreme sports was tested with an event that has changed the way people see the world nowadays – that the world is indeed full of violence and hatred. As covered in the article, the world is shocked by the actions of one man who went into a place of worship and had committed a massacre. What is astonishing is the level of solidarity among New Zealanders post-shooting. They have been offering victims sympathy, empathy, as well as have been helping the victims to overcome trauma and grief.  Social media has become a tool used by people all over the world to send messages of support and love to the victims. Hashtags have been used on Twitter to discuss the mass shooting. One can easily find the messages for the victims posted under hashtags related to the incident.

The New Zealanders have shown solidarity by standing outside the mosques in a line to which can represents that they are willing to protect what they considered to be their brothers and sisters despite the difference in religion, culture and skin color.  Not only that, the incident also prompted some of the New Zealanders to learn more about Islam. Some of them even converted to Islam after the incident. Sonny Bill Williams, a New Zealand All-Blacks Rugby Star is one of the famous names in the Islam and he even visited the victims who were being treated to provide support. Recently, his mother and teammate, Offa Tuungafasi, converted to Islam as well (Astro , 2019).

In conclusion, the media has the power to shape the perception of the people in the world. Along with that, the media could lead to people thinking that the world might be a dangerous place to live in, but there is kindness in this world and the people of New Zealand along with their leader, Ardern, have exhibited those traits. In memory of the victims, I would like to ask for all of us to pray for the fallen victims.

References

ABC News New Zealand. (2019, March 19). Christchurch shooting death toll rises to 50 after one more victim discovered at mosque. Retrieved from ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-17/christchurch-shooting-death-toll-rises-to-50-new-zealand/10909288

Astro , A. (2019, March 27). Beberapa hari susulan tragedi Christchurch, ibu serta rakan baik Sonny Bill Williams masuk Islam. Retrieved from Astro Awani: http://www.astroawani.com/berita-dunia/beberapa-hari-susulan-tragedi-christchurch-ibu-serta-rakan-baik-sonny-bill-williams-masuk-islam-202370

Ekawati, R. (2018). PRAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF ANGER EXPRESSION USED BY NETIZEN ON ROHINGYA REFUGEES IN WEBSITE . Skripsi thesis, Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta., 1-16.

Graham-McLay, C. (2019, July 13). New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks. Retrieved from NYTimes.com: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/13/world/asia/new-zealand-guns.html

Roy, E. A. (2019, March 19). ‘Real leaders do exist’: Jacinda Ardern uses solace and steel to guide a broken nation. Retrieved from The Guardian Online: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/19/real-leaders-do-exist-jacinda-ardern-uses-solace-and-steel-to-guide-a-broken-nation

Shilbury, D., Westerbeck, H., Quick, S., Funk, D., & Karg, A. (2014). Strategic sport marketing Fourth Edition. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

Wakefield, J. (2019, March 19). Christchurch shootings: Social media races to stop attack footage. Retrieved from BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47583393

Yates, D., & Paquette, S. (2010). Emergency Knowledge Management and Social Media Technologies: A Case Study of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake. ASIS&T ’10 Proceedings of the 73rd ASIS&T Annual Meeting on Navigating Streams in an Information Ecosystem – Volume 47 (pp. 1-9). Pittsburgh: American Society for Information Science .

Zhou, Y., & Moy, P. (2007). Parsing Framing Processes: The Interplay Between Online Public Opinion and Media Coverage. Journal of Communication ISSN 0021-9916, 78-98.

Why is Feminism popular? Look at the way we treat our women

by Muhammad Naim Muhamad Ali

As of 2013, the world population is estimated to be around 7, 162, 119. 434 people, with 49.5 percent of the population are women (United Nations Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2019). According to the statistics provided, Malaysia accounted 31.97 million as of 2017, with 48.60 percent is female, yet their every action is still scrutinized, which in turn influences their being and livelihood (Masika & Joekes, 1996). Women, regardless of age, face society’s discrimination when doing the same things that men got away with. Women today are working together to fight for equal treatment, rights, and privileges enjoyed by their male counterparts. However, such efforts showed slow progress due to some factors.

Women generally have fewer rights and opportunities than men (Peace Corps, 2017). The report by Peace Corps highlighted that women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, following less access to basic and higher education, health, and safety risks and political representation. Women often assumed the role of wifehood and motherhood which were regarded as women’s most noble – if not only, professions in the early centuries. In the 20th century, for the first time in history, women in most nations, the United Kingdom for instance, finally won the right to vote, as well as to get an education and better job opportunities (Lethbridge, 2018). Perhaps most importantly, what they have fought for accomplished a reevaluation of traditional views of their roles in society

Source: Financial Times

Men are generally perceived as the head of the family. As such, a man is seen as his family’s breadwinner, while his wife will be staying at home to raise their children and take care of the household. In the past, this was considered as a norm for women – to be housewives — but as time goes by, living expenses hiked due to changes in developments and policies. To cushion the rising cost of living, women then started to look for ways to contribute to their families. To do this, they started working — it doesn’t matter how much they were getting paid as long as they could help their husbands.

A year or so ago, I found an article published in The Star newspaper titled “Gender-wage bias still raging”. The article focused on the wage gap in Malaysia. In 2015, women generally earned 8.4 percent less than men. Data retrieved from the National Statistics Department’s Salaries and Wages Survey Report 2013 showed that men typically earn RM2,260 a month, while women earn RM2, 071 for doing the same job. Issues concerning the wage gap between men and women gave rise to the question: why do governments have such biased policies when it comes to salaries for men and women? Don’t women deserve to be paid as much as men? The wage gap is real, as shown in studies done throughout the years. The article too highlighted that despite being skilled, women are paid less than their male colleagues, who are paid 39.7 percent more than them (around RM588).

I recalled watching a movie based on a true event, Made in Dagenham, which dabbled about semi-skilled Ford women machinist who went on strike due to denied pay raise by the management. It may seem a cliché to some people, but this is the reality. Women hardly get pay raise because most of the time they are deemed less capable and productive than men in their work performance due to their childrearing and other related women-related roles (Masika & Joekes, 1996).

Another issue concerning women that should be addressed is, “Are women being taxed for being women?” Yes! The New York Times (2018) highlighted that women are not aware that they are paying more for certain products and services. This is due to the Pink Tax which is additional charges for certain items targeted at women. A lot of research on the pink tax found that women have been paying more than 42 percent than men, on average $1,351 a year of extra costs (Elliot, 2019). Tampons are considered a luxury and not a necessity in many countries. In the United States, some states abide by the tampon tax. The razor is, however, zero-rated in tax because it is used by men who believe that their need to be cleanly shaven is a human right. As such, it is interesting to note that whatever that is used and considered a necessity by men (in order to maintain their hygiene health) is usually zero-rated, unlike items that are needed by women for the same purpose. Is the use of tampons, not a human right? Women must pay at least US$7 for tampons for at least 40 years of their lives and as such, it is now considered a luxury that can’t even be afforded by those from poor countries.

Women did not demand to be treated like men. They demand to be treated equally – because the idea is both genders are equal, but not identical. There are things women are not supposed to do unless in circumstances that they could not afford to avoid. Society, especially men, must end the stigma and discriminations towards women because the world has evolved, and this is no longer a man’s world. Women are not second-class citizens. They do not deserve to be treated with discrimination and prejudice. Not all women are damsels in distress.

Feminism is not a dangerous word as some men would think (some might think that women are going for global domination). It is also not a dangerous movement. It only means the advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes (Offen, 1988). People – especially men – need to understand the concept of advocating for women’s rights. They may not have to support the cause, but showing respect to it, is more than enough because how would we feel if we are treated unfairly on a daily basis? This topic might seem petty compared with racial inequality faced by some races for many years. But, in any culture and race, there are men and women who live together and each one of them should embrace and celebrate diversity and differences with respect and harmony.

References

Elliot, C. (2019). The Pink Tax- The Cost of Being a Female Consumer. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from Listen: Money Matters: https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/the-pink-tax/

Lethbridge, L. (2018, February 2). The women’s march: how the Suffragettes changed Britain. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/22776930-05f6-11e8-9e12-af73e8db3c71

Masika, R., & Joekes, S. (1996). Employment and sustainable livelihoods: A gender perspectives. Institute of Development Studies, Gender Office of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Brighton. Retrieved July 22, 2019

Offen, K. (1988). Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach (Vol. 14). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.jstor.org/stable/3174664

Peace Corps. (2017). Global Issues: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from Peace Corps – Educator Resources: https://www.peacecorps.gov/educators/resources/global-issues-gender-equality-and-womens-empowerment/

Salt, K. (2018, March 2). The Hidden Taxes on Women. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/business/women-hidden-taxes.html

United Nations Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2019). World Population Prospects 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from United Nations Population Division: https://population.un.org/wpp/DataQuery/

The Present and Future for LGBT Youth in Malaysia

by Wan Allef Elfi Danial bin Wan Sukeri

Lights. Gone. Before. Time. This is not the actual acronym for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) but rather an interesting analogy that perfectly describes the LGBT youth in Malaysia. The LGBT community is often considered as the scourge of the society due its members’ lifestyle, which was perceived as immoral and unnatural. Malaysia is notorious for its ban on homosexuality in which any sexual acts involving same sex individuals are heavily frowned upon and in some cases, punishable by law. A popular case involving the public caning of two lesbians who were caught committing sexual acts in a car (Lamb, 2018) is a distinguishable example. But rather than dwelling on the past, I would like to talk about the present and future concerning the LGBT youth in Malaysia.

From showing signs of conflicting qualities, such as men femininity or women masculinity to dressing up differently from the norms of fashion, Malaysian LGBT youths are constantly under attack in Malaysia. However, a study titled How Race and Religion Shape Millennial Attitudes on Sexual and Reproductive Health conducted by Dan Cox and Robert P. Jones from the Public Religion Research Institute indicated that millennials are more accepting towards homosexuality compared with the people of the previous generation (Felicetti, 2015). Furthermore, they also find it difficult to express themselves within a safe space. Even posting any LGBT-related matters on social media platforms warrants them full-fledged discrimination and hatred from society. This fear is the main reason of why many people from the LGBT community are discreet on their sexuality and refuse to further showcase their talents and abilities to the world. Without a proper platform and support from the society, LGBT youth will fade into the background, their talents grow unpolished and their confidence turned nil. Eventually, the spark that once resides in them will grow weaker, as well and their dreams become forgotten.

It is depressing to know that Malaysia is oblivious from the creativity, achievements and amazing ideas that can be produced by the LGBT youth. LGBT youth can never find the opportunity to shine and display their talents properly. The LGBT community in Malaysia should come together and strive for the similar purpose and goals, not fighting for the rights that obviously go beyond the tolerance of religion, such as same-sex marriage and gender change, but instead for the protection against being discriminated, bullied and abused. Hopefully, the future generation is inspired to open their eyes and mind to see the suffering and torment faced by the LGBT community whilst providing protection to them when needed. Empathy is a treasure that needs to be nurtured within the younger generation. Aside from that, I also hope that young LGBT representatives are given a fair and equal chance to be featured in various fields, such as entertainment, economy and politics. In my opinion, everyone should have the same rights to contribute to this blessed land.

It is very crucial to note that the chances of LGBT youth exposed to all types of bullying are fairly high. These bullying activities if not prevented at a young age, can lead to worse repercussions in the future, such as physical abuse and murder. However, it is upsetting to consider a person getting murdered just for loving another person. It is sad and frightening to see people justifying these horrible acts for the sake of preserving Islam sanctity. As days past by and we are inching closer to the year of 2020, the cases of LGBT misfortunes seem to be rising at an alarming rate. In 2018, a video of two men being beaten up by a group of people for allegedly having sex in a car in Kuala Lumpur went viral and caused uproar among the Malaysian society (Adam, 2018). Such similar incidents are likely to occur again if no safety is guaranteed for the LGBT community. Apart from that, this issue can sprout other concerns, such as the increasing cases of LGBT youth affected by mental health risks, often leading to suicidal thoughts and self-harm. A study done by Meyer (2003) showed that stigma, prejudice, and discrimination towards the LGBT community create a hostile and stressful social environment for them that lead to mental health problems. To make things worse, the society seems to be satisfied in pushing them, the LGBT community, to the edge of the cliff.

Islam is a religion of peace and perfection. But the Muslims are not. There have been guidelines and proper methods in handling a phenomenon like this. Unfortunately, some people took matters into their own hands in dealing with homosexuality issues. To many, inflicting pain and abuse upon the LGBT community is a justifiable act. If this behaviour is made into common tradition and hatred is spread, the LGBT youth will face a bleak future. In June 2017, a teenager from Penang was beaten and raped by a gang of young men for having effeminate traits (Thiagarajan, 2017). 18-year-old T. Nhaveen was brutally assaulted and ended up being brain-dead from the various wounds that he sustained on his head, hips and multiple burn marks on his back (Thiagarajan, 2017). Unfortunately, Nhaveen did not survive from the incident and died later on, which led to the case being reclassified as murder (Logeiswary & Sekaran, 2017). Is this the life that the LGBT community has to endure? It seems like being a heterosexual is a privilege.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister of Malaysia has released his statement on LGBT rights in Malaysia by stating that their lifestyle will not be part of the nation’s value system (Pillai, 2018). In order to find solace within the society, LGBT community depends on the millennial’s perception and acceptance towards their rights as those millennials are the future of the country. This is where the upcoming generation, regardless of their sexuality differences, plays a vital part in securing a better future for their homosexual allies. Decades ago, homosexuality topics are considered as a strong taboo and are often refrained from being discussed in households and school settings. Undoubtedly, this has resulted in various repercussions, such as parents of LGBT individuals not knowing the correct way to show support, the society finding it enjoyable to bully effeminate boys, ridiculing masculine girls and many more.

In Western countries, such as the United States, LGBT communities are given rights to be represented in media and entertainment although the appearances are still rather marginal. Some LGBT youth consisting of celebrities are sculpted into icons and followed by millions of fans across the globe. However, this situation is non-existent in Malaysia. This is due to the discrimination woven through decades of fear mongering towards the LGBT community the second their sexuality is revealed. This further pushes the possibilities of LGBT community hiding behind masks and suppressing their skills. Aside from that, a survey conducted by the trend forecasting agency, J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group, young Americans aged 13 to 20 were discovered to be far more open-minded and tolerant than the older millennial groups regarding the issues of gender and sexuality (Zing, 2016). Lastly, the millennials provide their support in increasing government funding towards the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS and accept more LGBT immigrants from other countries that criminalize sexuality (Cohen, 2018).

In short, the LGBT community, especially those from the younger generation, should not be hindered from expressing their true self and showcasing their talents, abilities and ideas. Hopefully, Malaysians will learn to be more understanding and accepting towards the LGBT community. This is easier in the current proliferation of media technology. With the help of the Internet, the younger generation nowadays is broadly exposed to differences of race, religion and culture, feminism, gay rights and other pertaining global issues (DiSabito, 2014). Additionally, LGBT youths need to be assured that the future can hold a bright prospect for them. Thus, Malaysians must come together to achieve undisputable harmony and democracy.

References

Adam, M. (28 December, 2018). Malaysian men beaten up and dragged out of car for ‘having gay sex’. Retrieved 10 January, 2019, from Pink News: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/12/27/malaysian-men-beaten-up-gay-sex/

Cohen, C. J. (10 July, 2018). Millennials Support LGBT Rights But Take Issue With ‘Homosexuality’. Retrieved 11 January, 2019, from Advocate: https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/7/10/millennials-support-lgbt-rights-take-issue-homosexuality

DiSabito, A. (4 March, 2014). Millennials are making the world a better place. Retrieved 10 January, 2019, from Daily Collegian: https://dailycollegian.com/2014/03/millennials-are-making-the-world-a-better-place/

Felicetti, R. (15 April, 2015). Millennials: More Accepting of Homosexuality? Retrieved 10 January, 2019, from The Outlook: https://outlook.monmouth.edu/news/30-volume-86-fall-2014-spring-2015/2578-millennials-more-accepting-of-homosexuality

Lamb, K. (2018, September 3). Women caned in Malaysia for attempting to have lesbian sex. Retrieved from TheGuardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/03/women-caned-in-malaysia-for-attempting-to-have-lesbian-sex

Logeiswary, T., & Sekaran, R. (16 June, 2017). Teen bully victim Nhaveen dies. Retrieved 11 January, 2019, from The Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/16/teen-bully-victim-nhaveen-dies-family-and-friends-fill-hospital-grounds-grieving-and-fuming-over-boy/

Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, Social Stress, and Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual. American Psychological Association, 674-692.

Pillai, V. (21 September, 2018). No way we’ll recognise gay rights in Malaysia, says Dr M. Retrieved 20 December, 2018, from freemalaysiatoday.com: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/09/21/no-way-well-recognise-gay-rights-in-malaysia-says-dr-m/

Thiagarajan, T. (2017, June 13). Teenager from Penang Beaten and Sodomised for Being ‘Effeminate’ Now Brain-dead. Retrieved from World of Buzz: https://www.worldofbuzz.com/teenager-penang-beaten-sodomised-effeminate-now-brain-dead/

Zing, T. (10 March, 2016). Teens These Days Are Queer AF, New Study Says. Retrieved 8 January, 2019, from Broadly: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/kb4dvz/teens-these-days-are-queer-af-new-study-says