Monday, 1 February 2016

Community of Opportunities: Combination Instead of Competition


"We prefer to combine instead of compete as we believe that unity in diversity is the core of success."

Recapping 2015

Becoming the President of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Mahallah as-Siddiq Representative Committee (MRC as-Siddiq) on 2 February 2015 was another history not only for me and my family, but also this Mahallah and this University.

It was my personal privilege to serve this University, yet a great challenge for me as I hold a great responsibility not only towards the University authority, but also some 900 constituents of me. My previous team experienced the same as well.

As a result, we came to another significant stage of success. Instead of being successful in organising 14 Mahallah activities throughout the year, my team were fortunate that 6 Mahallat and 1 non-governmental organisation had been with us in realising 4 collaborative activities.

At the same time, my team managed to achieve 76 percent of MRC Strategic Plan 2015 – 6 percent beyond the real target.

It’s an Honour

Many reasons led to the success, yet many rooms of improvement we have to enter – and we will enter them. Realising this, I come back to this august Assembly and take this chair for the second yet transitional term.

Thank you very much for the trust given to me. It’s an honour to stand before you again, especially at the time we commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Mahallah as-Siddiq. I would not be here once more without your prayers and support.

20th Anniversary of Mahallah as-Siddiq

Embrace the pride and gratitude in our heart as we turn 20, this Hijri year.

“Whoever is grateful [to Allah] is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favour] – then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.”

20 years is, indeed, not a short journey for this Mahallah. It was a colourful journey that this Mahallah went through with joy and sorrow; with tears and bloods.

Many peoples have been there in order to make this Mahallah a worthy part of this University. Our officials have been working tirelessly for the convenience and comfortability of our peoples here. Our brothers have dedicated themselves to drive hundreds of activities for this Mahallah, which some of them are international.

Today, we are very proud to see the series of achievements and recognitions marked by this Mahallah since the first day of its establishment; more than what our Mahallah has achieved in IIUM Sports Carnival (ISC), IIUM Inter Mahallat Cultural Week (IMCW) or IIUM Mahallah Quality Award (MQA).

Otherwise, this Mahallah would not be a meaningful subdivision of this University. That’s the cause we thank and acknowledge them for everything they did for this University, particularly this Mahallah.

As their successors, we learn from their passion, dedication and sacrifice in order to bring this Mahallah to another stop of triumph.

As we turn 20 this Hijri year, we should bring this University – this Mahallah, in particular – further together, so let us do better.

Kalau bukan kita, siapa lagi? Kalau bukan sekarang, bila lagi? Kalau bukan di sini, di mana lagi?

Vision and Mission of Mahallah as-Siddiq

We shall do this without further delay as we are now bound with our own direction.

“Generating the True Hope” is the Vision of Mahallah as-Siddiq. The “True Hope” defines our True North – towards individual and collective success in this World and the Hereafter. That’s the reason there is no timeframe for such Vision.

The Mission, at the other side, symbolise the way our Mahallah will be working in order to realise the Vision, which is to “provide excellent services, quality facilities and beneficial activities in order to establish a place of choice where the Champion of IIUM Community is produced.”

The Mission itself reflects the need of our Mahallah to be conscious towards the importance of body and soul of our community. There will be no community without one of both.

In the other words, I prefer to say that we come here not only to prepare for the next body and soul of the community, but also for the next generation – equipped with knowledge and virtue – who will take charge of them.

We have no time, actually, though the Vision and Mission of our Mahallah are timeless, so this is our time – let’s start creating and steering ways and means by everything we have.

Challenges

However, we should realise that there have been series of challenges that we are facing throughout this year – and counting. We have to be prepared very well in order to combat them with every strength we have.

We are challenged from all angles. We have no option but to face it.

We are affected by to the uprising of living cost, the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the instability of global currency, the fall of global oil price and the economic moderation in some countries. As an outcome, we are financially insufficient to continue surviving – while our own University experiences the cut of its annual budget as well.

We are also affected by some peoples who create and spread social problems in our community. They are the cause of the existence of many communal difficulties. We see this in our own land – I believe that you understand more than I do.

We are also affected by crimes and conflicts occurring every time and everywhere. Inhumane wars continue until today in some parts of this world, which disable our peoples there to exercise their human rights, including access to work and education.

We are grateful because this fatherland is still experiencing the peace and freedom. However, we cannot be negligent and complacent with the state of our country today. They might come out of our knowledge. Therefore, together we stand, we defend this motherland with hearts and hands from all evil elements.

The question is, what is the importance of mentioning them all?

The answer is crystal clear: We are about to reach the future very soon, so we should be ready very well in order to face and counter more unexpected challenges in the future.

I understand that we are very limited to put all efforts for a better future, but – at least – we could do something together for it, so what are you waiting for?

Let us continue the way by driving four (4) strategies.

Good Governance

The first is good governance, the foundation of an organisation.

Good governance is not only about how the top leader plan and execute his plan, but also how everyone in an organisation work together with the top leader to establish a clear and realistic plan and, then, to implement it by all possible means.

Under this strategy, I have three (3) expectations: smooth drive, better representation and better cooperation and diplomacy.

Several initiatives were planned to meet those expectations, which some of them were done since couple of months ago.

Number one is transparency. MRC will now be put under the public scrutiny, so everyone will count on us. This will cause our 2015 Annual Report and 2016 Mandate Letters to Members be made public.

Number two is administrative enhancement. It reflects the need of MRC to implement a better workplace culture and a better decision-making style. It also reflects the need of MRC to continue partnering with the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) and Mahallah Representative Coordination Committee (MRCC).

I expect that my team will sit together with SRC at least thrice throughout the year, and I wish MRCC will sit together with SRC at least four (4) times throughout the year, so as to deal with more problems related to students’ welfare and wellbeing with an extended strength.

Number three is reactivating Emergency Response Team (ERT). ERT, as we know, is a special team dealing with emergency matters in Mahallah. Nonetheless, ERT becomes dormant in this Mahallah as nothing dangerous happened so far.

As we believe that we have to prepare the umbrella before the rain comes, we will cause ERT to run again under the leadership of the Vice President and to organise at least one emergency drill by the end of September this year.

Number four is initiating more joint ventures. This Mahallah is honoured that numerous Mahallat extended their offers to work together in turning their dreams to realities.

I have the pleasure to announce that we accept the offer of Mahallah Zubair for a proposed community service project in Ranau, Sabah, this coming August, which will involve Mahallah Hafsa as well. It will cause this Mahallah to provide a sum of RM 5,000 from its Activities Fund no matter how the financial implication will be.

I have the same too to announce that we will extend our hands again with Negeri Sembilan Muslim Students’ Society (PPINS) through one activity to be organised in before the end of this semester.

Number five is more outreaches. Instead of the plan to reach Muallaf peoples in Ranau, Sabah, with Mahallah Zubair and Mahallah Hafsa, this Mahallah is expected to reach the peoples of Sultan Alam Shah Islamic College (KISAS) in Klang.

We choose KISAS this year as KISAS share the same line of history and legacy with this University and as KISAS share the same strength of branding with this University. We will realise this through at least one simple activity with a budget of some RM 800 (Ringgit Malaysia Eight Hundred).

My MRC is also expected to reach other types of peoples this year, so I let my MRC to be considerate on such idea very soon.

Better Community Care

The second strategy is better community care. This is the main reason that enable everyone in this University, particularly this residential college, to have a sufficient, convenient and comfortable life.

This strategy comes with two (2) expectations, which are recently included in the Mission of this Mahallah – quality services and quality facilities.

On this opportunity, I reiterate my pledge that residents’ welfare is always my first priority.

My team and I will make sure that our peoples deserve utilities and amenities in their room. If there is any defect, we will make sure that such defect would be rectified as quick as possible.

My team and I also will make sure that they deserve quality services facilities in this residential college. We want them to enjoy dining in our Café with a delicious dish and with a cheap price. We want them to enjoy playing in our Futsal court. We want them to enjoy cleaning their cloths in our Laundry. We want them to experience the quality of services provided by our kind Mahallah Office.

At the same time, my team and I will make sure that everyone can survive in this residential college. If someone has no money, at least we can give a little stipend to him as a short-term assistance. If someone didn’t eat for some days, at least we can give him something that he can eat.

We are here for that reason – to ensure the comfortability and convenience of our people’s life in this residential college.

We did this before, not only through Khairat Fund and Endowment Fund, but also through the Student Representative Council’s (SRC) initiative of organising Suspended Meal Programme that bring benefit to those in need.

Our executives, housekeepers, landscapists and technicians did their job very well all this while. We owe them very much for everything they have contributed here continuously.

We owe the Deputy Rector (Student Affairs) of the University and his entire team very much for channelling RM 2.59 million to 2,708 students of this University.

We will continue doing this together according to everyone’s job specification; and I would like to propose that this University to ease the process of application for those funds, so there will be more peoples in need to receive it.

Last time, my Head of Welfare and Residential Affairs held a survey on the quality of our Café. I expect that he will present an outcome – with everything he has – in the next Mahallah Executive Meeting.

Last time also, he proposed to establish an Emergency Fund to help those in need financially. I hereby assign this proposal to the kind consideration of Mahallah Executive Meeting.

Out of this proposal, we have cause some monies to be given to the needy residents to release their burden temporarily – and we will continue doing so.

May Allah release their burden for sometimes and give them strength to continue finding something valuable for their survival.

At this chance, I would like to announce that this Mahallah will be having its Client Charter, which will reflect the way we will deliver to our peoples. Such Client Charter shall be ratified very soon.

I also would like to announce that, as long as the SRC organises Suspended Meal Programme, we will support it.

Instead of having such programme, I am glad that the University has established Mahabbah Project, which will bring more benefit to the needy members of our University community.

However, we cannot depend on those opportunities only. As the ASEAN Community, we are the community of opportunities, so we should create other opportunities for our peoples – and ourselves – instead of being opportunists.

We are not the producer of beggars, so we don’t want our peoples to be beggars at last. If so, it is a great loss to them and to this University.
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I am in favour of an idea to provide job opportunities to those in need of money. At the same time, I propose that this University to continue creating more opportunities for our community members to have a part-time job by all possible means.

I believe that we can create more ways and means, so let my team discuss this with SRC, MRCC and the upcoming Student Leaders’ Assembly (ISLA) in depth.

Better Community Engagement

The third strategy is better community engagement.

We are honoured that at least one-fifth of residents of this Mahallah were benefited from all 14 activities organised by this Mahallah. They meant the importance of being a part of this Siddiq Falcon Community.

I thank them so much for showing their support towards this Mahallah despite of academic assignments, commitments towards other student bodies, self management and preparation towards the mid-semester and final examinations.

This year, we are about to continue organising more interested activities according to two expectations.

Number one is more achievements in Inter Mahallah activities. We plan to write a better record in the upcoming IMCW and ISC. To make this happened, our Mahallah will set up and run two separated Siddiq Falcon teams in order to prepare our peoples to join both major activities.

Before we make these happened, I would be grateful if MRCC may issue a resolution, in its upcoming sitting, on the date of IMCW and ISC, so every Mahallah could equip themselves very well with everything they need prior to IMCW and ISC.

Number two is people-centred activities. We have done these before and we will continue doing those activities again.

Three of them, which become priorities of our Mahallah, are an induction course, which is expected to be ready by this March; As-Siddiq Festival, tentatively at the end of April; and an upcoming futsal competition with a budget that will be determined by Mahallah very soon.

In the next two or three years, our Mahallah should be able to organise one ASEAN-level activity whatever the nature of such activity will be.

Peace and Prosperity

Last but not least is peace and prosperity. For a better understanding, “peace” reflects the Islamic need of this Mahallah – to “implement Islamic lifestyle and culture”, while “prosperity” reflects the need of this Mahallah to produce peoples with entrepreneurial minds in order to face the challenging future.

This Mahallah is aware of the importance of having an Islamic circle in every Mahallah. That is the reason this Mahallah will continue organising Usrah for our peoples; but we need some enhancements – in term of legal standing and scheduling – in order to make it more effective and convenient to the attendees.

This Mahallah is also aware of the first shift of the National Education Blueprint (Higher Education) (PPPM-PT) 2015-2025, “to produce a balanced, holistic and entrepreneurial-minded graduates”. For that reason, my team will try the best to promote the importance of entrepreneurship to all of our peoples, while my team will try the best to come out with a small business as well.

Reflection

These strategies reflect the direction of this Mahallah – to be “Always the Truth” and to move “One Step Forward” towards “Generating the True Hope”. These strategies reflect this University’s aspiration as well – towards become a leading international centre of educational excellence which seeks to restore the dynamic and progressive role of the Muslim Ummah in all branches of knowledge and intellectual discourse, through the principles of Triple ICE.

For a better understanding, it is that we are in this University not only for the betterment of this University, but also for a better future community and a sustainable world.

For those being a part of this Mahallah, this is our time, let’s understand our action in depth so we could do it together without any hassle.

For those coming here from any part of this University, we wish you will get something beneficial from this college, so you could share it with the others at your part. In return, we would be grateful if we can continue transferring ideas and experiences in order to establish an advanced community in the future.

The reason is crystal clear: We prefer to combine instead of compete as we believe that unity in diversity is the core of success. That’s how the ASEAN Community works through the ASEAN Way. “We dare to dream; we care to share.”

Appreciation

We would be grateful if – even though we are always competing each other – we can continue the combination so we will be more successful; and we are highly grateful to our official partners for their presence in turning our dream to a reality throughout 2015.

On behalf of this Mahallah, I would like to extend its sincerest appreciation to Mahallah Zubair, Mahallah Ruqayyah, Mahallah Asiah, Mahallah Khalid al-Walid, Mahallah Fatimah az-Zahra, Mahallah Ummu Kalthum, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque and PPINS for their willingness to be with us throughout 2015.

As their friend, we learn from their passion, dedication and sacrifice; and experience the spirit of being “One United Heart” together. We wish you will be our partner again; and we wish that the such concept will continue shadowing everyone everywhere.

I believe that everyone can promote this concept, including our own MRCC. Dear MRCC, let us do this with hearts and hands.

As a person, it’s a great honour to gain many wonderful opportunities, not only to facilitate my fellow members here, and not only to reach and help my constituents, but also my close comrades outside my constituency.

I thank my comrades very much for being with me all this while despite of other commitments. I look forward to be by your side once again anytime and anywhere.

You and Us

In conclusion, I would like to say that, although we are too independent to go ahead, we are no one without you, and we are someone because of you. Everything will be easy with your presence. Otherwise, we will go through the hardship alone. That’s the cause we mean everyone’s presence very much.

Let us make everything convenient for this land and our people. Our peoples need us by their side, so be always by their side whatever happen. Our peoples need their leaders, so be their true leader. Lead them to the true way. Our peoples dream a better future, let us improve the situation by our ways and means. Let them live in this land with peace and prosperity – in our definition.

“When you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”

Above all, I would like to say that we are more than nothing without the Grace of Allah SWT. Each thing we managed to do – that bring benefit to our peoples and us – in this land is because of His Permission. We thank Him infinitely for everything He give to this land.

May Allah continue granting us the strength and sources, and make every business easy so we can continue commit ourselves to our personal and communal duties and responsibilities.

May Allah forgive all of our faults and mistakes we do consciously and unconsciously all this while.

May Allah retain the spirit of being “One United Heart” in us all.

May Allah bless this University.

May Allah bless Malaysia, its friends and their peoples – forever more.

Thank you again for being with me, and I promise that, as long as I have the chance, I will be by your side; and I promise that the people’s welfare is always my first priority.

Dengan doa kami berkhidmat. Semoga Allah beri rahmat.

AWANG ABDUL MUIZZ BIN AWANG MARUSIN
President, MRC as-Siddiq, IIUM Gombak Campus

Mahallah as-Siddiq General Meeting 2016
Monday, 1 February 2016
Mahallah as-Siddiq Meeting Room, IIUM, Gombak, Selangor

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