with Ding Yahya
It is almost certain that the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) which governs the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be extended and that the first BARMM regular elections will be postponed to 2025.
Our forecast is based on the approval of the final reading of Senate Bill No. 2214, and the House of Representatives is expected to follow suit. This is a good development and those like me who care for the Bangsamoro People — the people who has been engaging the government for a long time in wars to assert their rights for self-determination and identity — have reason to revel.
The present BTA members who comprise the interim executive and legislative autonomous powers are not all perfect, nor are all competent. As we always say we know some of them who have no business to sit in the center of regional power. They are in no way capable of promoting the so-called ‘moral governance’ the region’s leadership has been advocating. Simply because, they are either illiterate of governance, bought their way there or with questionable personality with dubious activity. This is what we hope the national leadership and that of the Bangsamoro region can look seriously into.
We know the BARMM may not be perfect. It has many flaws. And personally, I do believe it is a law that does not actually represent in toto our aspirations as a people. But right now, there is nothing better than BARMM. it is the only one that we have hoping to answer our aspirations and its success depends upon the Bangsamoro people. No amount of brilliance, hard work, and dedication of our leaders can change our plight if we, ourselves, do not like to change. Do not expect a better Bangsamoro government to come to us in the coming hundred years if we cannot make this present BARMM successful.
But, if we want our BARMM to succeed, we must help the Bangsamoro authorities to run it. Let us help them employ incorruptible competence, integrity, and dedication in government service. This we can do by exposing the misfits and wrongdoings in the regional government. Let us inform BARMM higher echelons like CM Ahod Murad Ebrahim, Parliament speaker Pangalian Balindong and their ministers of these. Do not be afraid to assert your right because it is your future and of our posterity that is at stake.
Be a Muslim Bangsamoro, strong and brave with all integrity and sincerity. MNY
I am reviving my column entitled, ‘Looking back.’ As a column title, it is not mine own coinage. It belongs to a famous and prominent leader in the Malay World (Dunia Melayu).
I was once upon a time browsing reading materials in a bookstore in Kuala Lumpur when an old paperback bound book caught my eyes. The book title is ‘Looking Back.’ I obtained a copy of its first edition in 1977 published by Pustaka Antara, Kuala Lumpur. I did not hesitate to buy it to read in my free time. It is one of my collection of few books and reading materials that I have had acquired from some places I had been around the globe.
Putra’s ‘Looking Back’ is a compilation of the musings and memories written by Tungku Abdul Rahman Putra, the father of two Malaysia, in The Star newspaper, then a popular daily in Southeast Asia. The Tungku founded the Federation of Malaya and later Federal Malaysia, two forms of government and country that Malaysia has undergone in her struggle for independence from the United Kingdom.
Anyway, one of these days, I will write an extensive introduction about the famous Malaysian leader.
Today, 20 years later after buying it from that bookstore in KL, I still keep the book.
It is from the Tungku (yarhamu) that I adopt the title of this column. May God be pleased with him.