Friday, October 21, 2011


Definitely, I am not the only one. There are a lot of people who spend their nights from hotel to hotel as what I have to do for the last two days. Last night I was at the Carlton Holiday Hotel in Shah Alam, Selangor and tonight I am at the Park Royal Hotel in Batu Feringghi, Penang. Next month and the following months until February next year, apart from the hotels in Malaysia, I will be in a few other hotels abroad, InshaAllah: in Nakhorn si Thammarat (Thailand), in Bandung (Indonesia), in Doha (Qatar), and in Vancouver (Canada). These are what have been already committed in my work schedules.

Carlton Holiday Hotel, Shah Alam, Selangor
Park Royal Hotel, Batu Feringghi, Penang
I was in Shah Alam last night to help Selangor Zakat Council (LZS) to draw an action plan for an effective zakat distribution in the state. Together with me were Professor Dato' Hailani Muji Tahir and Associate Professor Dr Sanep of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Tuan Syed Ghazali Wafa of ANGKASA. I proposed an action plan for zakat organisational empowerment through localisation approach that involves decentralisation and popular participation.

Localisation here simply means collecting zakat locally and distributing it to the local asnaf. This definitely needs decentralisation of power and decision making process as well as the participation of the local masses. Tuan Syed Ghazali Wafa proposed a new form of zakat calculation by taking into consideration both the nisab and had kifayah. Associate Professor Dr Sanep proposed a new kind of educational assistance through zakat, changing it from the present scholarship to educational loan (Qardul Hasan), to be managed by profesional body such as the scholarship section of the Yayasan Selangor.

R-L: Associate Professor Dr Sanep, myself, Ustaz Farid of LZS, Prof Dato' Hailani, and Tuan Syed Ghazali Wafa discussing about the action plan

Now, after flying back to Penang by 1355 flight this afternoon, I am at Feringghi Park Royal Hotel to attend the School of Social Sciences' Workshop beginning tomorrow morning till Sunday. It is actually a rather relax Workshop cum family gathering, with a little programme related to devising strategy and implementation of KPI by Professor Abdul Karim Alias and academic staffs' promotion briefing by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal. Our new Vice-Chancellor Professor Dato' Omar Osman too will be here to give away prizes to Top 10 KPI contributors and Excellent Lecturers of our School. i-Pad2 will be given to us in the afternoon, followed subsequently by a briefing on its usage. The occasion will end up with a dinner tomorrow night.

Another note: On the flight back to Penang this afternoon, I was sitting beside another Minister. This time was Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, the former Penang Chief Minister and currently Gerakan Party President-cum-Minister at the Prime Minister's Department. As usual, I took the opportunity to talk about politics, especially about his political leadership that at the moment seems to be challenged by some individuals in his own party Gerakan as well as by mainstream newspapers like the Star and Utusan Malaysia. He was very frank explaining all about it, including about his frictional relationship with the present Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. But above all, he created a personal touch by trying to memorise my name, sending regards to my wife who was his students in the 70's at USM, and introducing me to a drink in the flight called Ginger Ale as well as ensuring that it is halal.

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