Elaborating on the recent petrol pric e hike, the country’s leaders sang the same tune…the people must change their lifestyle. I have written about this the last time they hiked up the petrol price. Today I would like to bring to our attention to a piece written the Perlis Mufti, Dr. MAZA. I must say, I can identify with his writings, despite being pillorried by the Pakatan Rakyat team as being an UMNO’ s mouthpiece – due to his writings about the disparaging unIslamic campaign style of the PR in the last GE – he is consistent in his call for amal makruf and nahi munkar. In his latest writing in Mingguan Malaysia – again I’m surprised that, it got past the editorial in the first place, knowing Utusan fierce pro BN stance – he chided the TV celebrity ulamas, the leaders, and politicians for asking the poor people to change their lifestyle to accomodate the new oil price hike and reduce wastage. He said, rightly so, I must add, the “rakyat marhaen” are already scraping the bottom, there is nothing more for them to save or to change. The group of people that must change and reduce wastage are the top echelon who still drive around in their power guzzling vehicles, dine at posh restaurant and in his words ” their carpets alone are worth a few thousands packets of nasi lemak for the poor people”. I do not know why he chosed to attack the carpet but it was quite appropriate and you got the message. Not to mention the various concerts held to comemorate certain events. That brings me to a recent charity concert involving the drug rehabilitation group that did not make much money. I noticed the star attractions for the concert were paid RM50k! (I satnd corrected) What is so charitable about that! I would have thought, they were doing it for free or at most token sum of a few thousands, after all it was a charity concert touted as an event to help to treat those trapped in the dadah menace and the stars concerned were once in that circle, they should have known better.
Dr. MAZA’s acid pen (or maybe keyboard) then turned to the various zakat collection agencies which proudly announced their ability to collect zakat but very poor at identifying the asnaf who need their assistance. Quite rightly so he said TV3 seems to be more successful in tracing the hardcore poor and the needy than the zakat people, whose prime job function is to search for the fakr and the poor and the needy ones. Apparently the zakat agency expect the poor to come to them for help instead of they go out to look for potential candidates. In this aspect, I believe the various Lembaga Zakat need to improve. You do not expect the poor to come to you. To go to the various offices needs courage, funds, time and a bit of knowledge. These are the attributes that these people normally lack. Maybe they sould learn how “Bersamamu” manage to track the hardcore poor. On that note I notice Zahid Hamidi’s call for equitable distribution of zakat irrespective of states’ borders merit further and quick examination. It is not new thought but for the sake of the poor in the smaller states, zakat or baitulmal money from other rich states should be shared. After all Islam is sans border, colour, race or creed.