Thursday, 25 February 2010

Why we need a to raise a lot of money to do good

Let's take a moment to think.

I recently came across this scholarship advertisement. It is looking for 50 students from low-incomes homes to study finance and accounting at UTAR.

Each student will get RM20,000 to cover their expenses for the first year of study until they get a PTPTN loan.

And there's the deal: the students do not have to pay back the money, but they must promise to help other poor students once they are doing well financially.

How much money are we talking here? 50 X RM20,000. That's RM1mil.

That's how much money is needed for this very important cause.

I don't know about you, but I can think of many ways how to spend this much money, if I ever get this much money anyway. But that's another story. What's important here is that we need to realise how much it takes to help others, as opposed to helping ourselves. Remeber, Islam is not against helping ourself to a nice home, a (few) good car(s) and vacations to exotic locales, if we earned it the right way.

RM1mil is still a lot of money, high inflation or not. If we believe in akhirah and are looking for reward that never run out, then we Muslims need to seriously reconsider where we put our money.

We need to think differently. We need a lot of money to sent our students to local and international learning institutions. It's time we look at ourselves, instead of others, to bring forward this positive change. We have to work hard to earn halal money to help causes like this. Even a little help given with sincere intention can do wonders insya Allah. Let's not wait until we actually become millionaires, shall we?

The parable of those who spend of their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: It grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases; And Allah cares for all and He knows all things.
Qur'an (2:261)

Monday, 15 February 2010

Lat 30 Years Later

While going through some old stuff, I found this! I had no idea it was there, I thought Abah had 'donated' this away years ago.

Lat 30 Years Later is an autobiography slash essays slash portfolio. Unlike other Lat books, this is one is about the man himself told by the man himself, beginning with his joy-filled childhood and later becoming an young cartoonist, landing a job as a crime reporter, being discovered and drawing full time, and ending up where he is now as a very recognised, internationally acclaimed ambassador of all things Malaysiana. Included are keynote speech delivered by Lat in Osaka back in 1988, a tribute by artist and art critic Redza Piyadasa and foreword by Adibah Amin.

And the best of all is a 95-page section featuring some of his most recognised works: Keluarga Si Mamat, the graphic novel Mat Som, the artwork that appeared in Dewan Sastera and some wonderful Malaysian pieces (his best, in my opinion) like A Visit to Sabah, In Deepavali Mood, A Hakka Wedding and At a Sikh Wedding.

I got to know Lat when I was in primary school, and when Abah subscribed to the NST, waiting for Mondays (and Wednesdays and Saturdays too, if I remember correctly) for his "Scenes from the Malaysian Life." Now that we're reading another newspaper, I wonder if Lat is still with the NST.

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