Thursday, 3 March 2011

Dr Ahmad Ibrahim and the Natrah Incidence 1950

Dr Ahmad Ibrahim had good parents and grew up in a religious environment, and was involved in the Jamiyah mission in Singapore, with his father (till he died in 1962 during the hajj). He had continued at the Jamiyah and was very active there. When the Natrah incidence occurred  in Singapore on 11-12 December 1950, he was the most capable Muslim attorney to defend the rights of the Muslims involved in the case, even though the case was lost to the Dutch authorities, against the grain of the new religion that Natrah had embraced (Islam). It was this incidence that opened the eyes of the Muslims, both in Singapore and Tanah Melayu, to see how the non-Muslim laws completely ignored the Muslim syariah laws which governed this specific case involving a revert to Islam.

The Natrah case is still relevant today. There are many such cases today as more Muslims get married to non-Muslims and have children. When a divorce occurs, the laws of the country of residence come into play. If the family resides in a non-Muslim country and Muslims laws are not respected, the non-Muslim father/mother takes the children regardless of the religion of the parents and children. In syariah law (Islamic regulations), the children follow the Muslim parent (father or mother), never the non-Muslim parent. This is to avoid the children from being mislead as non-Muslims.

Doctors today also have a big role to play as medical counsellors and they must know the syariah laws governing mixed marriages. Parents of mixed marriages too must try to learn and understand that mixed marriages involving a Muslim and a revert to Islam have to abide by syariah laws when a divorce occurs When we refuse to respect syariah laws, that is when the world turns upside-down and we hear a lot of grief coming from many quarters.

This passage below, written in Malay, is from a blog, and contains the opinions of Datin Seri Fatini Yaacob, author of "Natrah (1937-2009) - Cinta, Rusuhan, Air Mata". The book was published by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in 2010 and is available from Popular for RM75.00 (ISBN 978-983-52-0729-7; paperback)


Kes Natrah cetus semangat patriotik perjuangan martabat undang-undang Islam
6 July 2010
by Roslan88

Usaha Ahmad Ibrahim jadi landasan perundangan syariah diamal Singapura dan Malaysia. SELEPAS 60 tahun kes Natrah: Di mana Kita? adalah persoalan cuba dirungkai pada Muzakarah Pakar anjuran Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM) bertujuan melihat impak peristiwa menjadi sejarah terus diperkatakan itu kepada perkembangan negara dalam bidang tertentu. 

Sebenarnya, tragedi menimpa anak kelahiran keluarga Belanda yang ditakdirkan menjadi anak angkat keluarga Melayu pada 1947 itu berjaya mengubah kehidupan masyarakat pada masa itu, terutama orang Islam dan membawa kepada kebangkitan perjuangan menentang penjajah. 

Karyawan Tamu Perpustakaan Sultanah Zanariah Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Datin Seri Fatini Yaacob, berkata tragedi Natrah perlu dilihat dari perspektif yang luas dan penuh keinsafan kerana membangkitkan kesedaran sebuah negara.

Penulis buku Natrah – Cinta, Rusuhan dan Air Mata itu berkata, selain menyedarkan orang Melayu supaya tidak terus lena ditekan penjajah, peristiwa mengorbankan nyawa itu menjadi pencetus kepada perjuangan memartabatkan undang-undang Islam hingga ke hari ini. 

Bukan itu saja, sejak kes Natrah yang berkahwin dengan Mansor Adabi pada usia 13 tahun mendapat perhatian dan liputan besar, termasuk oleh media Belanda, undang-undang hak penjagaan anak di Britain dan beberapa negara di Eropah serta Amerika berubah secara drastik. 

“Saya selalu katakan tragedi Natrah unik dan istimewa kerana berjaya menimbulkan gelombang kebangkitan luar biasa dalam kalangan rakyat sehingga sanggup berkorban wang, harta benda dan nyawa selain menyatukan orang Melayu yang berpecah kerana fahaman politik. 

“Sementara kes perundangan yang menjadi berita dunia 1950 yang menempelak undang-undang Islam ketika itu membulatkan keazaman jiwa peguam muda, Ahmad Ibrahim memartabatkan undang-undang Islam,” katanya.

Beliau yang membentangkan kertas kerja melihat kesan peristiwa berlaku sebelum merdeka itu dari aspek sosial bagaimanapun mengakui, masih banyak perlu diberi perhatian terutama dalam usaha memastikan kelangsungan Islam.

Fatini berkata, walaupun ada kejayaan memartabatkan undang-undang Islam, tetapi perlu diakui masih banyak yang perlu diperkemaskan tambahan sekarang ini ada saja provokasi menyentuh kedudukan Islam dalam Perlembagaan selain isu menekan orang Islam. 

Justeru katanya, kuasa politik disokong pandangan cendekiawan Islam perlu berperanan menangkis serangan terhadap Islam dan pada masa sama memberi kesedaran serta berusaha membina benteng kekuatan agama bangsa. 

Natrah yang dilahirkan pada 24 Mac 1937 oleh ibunya, Adeline sebagai Hurbedina Maria Hertogh @ Bertha di Bandung sebagai Kristian dan diserahkan kepada Cik Aminah Mohammad yang berasal dari Kemaman, Terengganu, dibesarkan sebagai seorang Islam. 

Tragedi berlaku apabila mahkamah mengarahkan beliau dikembalikan kepada ibu bapa kandungnya dan dipisahkan daripada suaminya, Mansor Adabi, pada 12 Disember 1950. Inilah punca rusuhan Natrah di Singapura yang menyebabkan 18 orang maut dan beratus-ratus lagi cedera. 

Perbincangan mengenai Natrah tidak lengkap jika tidak mengiktiraf jasa peguam Natrah, Allahyarham Tan Sri Prof Ahmad Ibrahim yang menghabiskan banyak masa mengkaji perundangan Islam. 

Usaha kerja beliau mengangkat martabat undang-undang Islam, menyusun silibus pengajian di universiti, memperkemaskan pentadbiran Mahkamah Syariah, meningkatkan kualiti hakim dan pengamal undang-undang syariah serta memantapkan pelaksanaan undang-undang syariah. 

Ketua Pengarah dan Ketua Hakim Syarie, Jabatan Kehakiman Syariah Malaysia (JKSM), Tan Sri Ibrahim Lembut, berkata hasil usaha Ahmad Ibrahim menjadi landasan utama bagi perundangan Islam diamalkan di Singapura dan Malaysia

Katanya, kesedaran ditimbulkan tokoh itu terhadap penindasan dan kesilapan yang dilakukan penjajah kepada bangsa Melayu memungkinkan undang-undang Islam dilaksanakan di negara ini dengan tertubuhnya Mahkamah Syariah. 

“Walaupun masih ada undang-undang yang tidak mengikut nas Islam, kita mampu menjadikan undang-undang Islam sebagai undang-undang utama negara. Apatah lagi, kes seperti yang berlaku kepada Natrah berulang dalam versi berbeza hari ini. 

“Jika kes Natrah membabitkan ibu bapa bukan beragama Islam tetapi kes kali ini berlaku terhadap ibu bapa yang salah seorangnya memeluk Islam. Ada juga kes mereka yang memeluk Islam tetapi akhirnya keputusan menetapkan mereka tidak mengamalkan ajaran Islam,” katanya. 

Beliau yang melihat kes Natrah dari perspektif pelaksanaan undang-undang Islam berkata, sejak negara mencapai kemerdekaan bukan satu jangka masa singkat untuk melihat keadilan dimartabatkan sebagai penyelesaian kepada isu menyelubungi pelbagai lapisan masyarakat. 

Katanya, keadilan bukan menyamaratakan segala tetapi meletakkan yang hak pada tempatnya dan adalah tidak adil adil untuk menidakkan hak umat Islam mempraktikkan syariah seperti mana dituntut agama. 

Ibrahim berkata, situasi kontemporari memperlihatkan perkembangan positif meningkatkan kredibiliti institusi kehakiman termasuk mengharmonikan antara undang-udang sivil dan undang-undang syariah kerana wujud konflik bidang kuasa antara Mahkamah Sivil dan Mahkamah Syariah. 

Namun, beliau mengakui masih ada peruntukan undang-undang perlu diperkemaskan supaya keadilan dapat dilaksanakan bukan saja kepada umat Islam, juga yang bukan Islam menyedari undang-undang syariah turut membela kebajikan mereka. 

Sementara itu, Felo Kehormat Akademik Institut Antarabangsa Pemikiran dan Tamadun Islam (ISTAC), Muhammad Uthman El-Muhammady, berkata selepas 60 tahun kes Natrah, pemikiran umat Islam masih terbelenggu dengan pemikiran penjajah. 

Katanya, ramai orang Islam mempunyai pendidikan tinggi dan kepakaran dalam pelbagai bidang tetapi tidak berkongsi semangat kental Ahmad Ibrahim memperjuangkan kepentingan umat mengatasi keperluan peribadi. 

Malah, perpecahan semasa sendiri kerana kepentingan peribadi dan kelompok secara sempit disebabkan perkelahian serta tohmahan hasil kurang cermat pengamatan ilmu menyebabkan umat Islam rugi. 

“Oleh itu, keperluan kepada elemen mendatangkan pendidikan berkesan diambil daripada pengalaman sejarah terutama terbaik dalam Islam digabungkan dengan sejarah bangsa Melayu yang unggul perlu didedahkan. 

“Begitu juga memupuk pendidikan menguatkan negara dari semua segi termasuk isu baru zaman globalisasi demi kelangsungan ummah,” katanya yang membentangkan pemikiran mengenai kes Natrah daripada sudut pendidikan. 

Hakikatnya, peristiwa Natrah adalah pencetus dan bagaimana umat Islam mengambil iktibar penting kerana jika orang Melayu terus lena, usaha membangkitkan semangat patriotik serta memartabatkan undang-undang Islam tercetus dulu, gagal menghasilkan apa yang sepatutnya. 


Source: http://bit.ly/ge1YH0

Pierre-Alain Weiss & Rabiah's website

Source: http://sites.google.com/site/pierrealainweiss/whatisonthesite

Singapore's Twiggy

Former S’pore ‘Twiggy’ Battles Lawyer Brother

Source : The New Paper, 14 Aug 2007

SIBLINGS SUE

.Former model sets up firm with brother to buy London properties
.Later, she accuses him of keeping poor records and misusing money
.She sues, but judge dismisses case


The spate of family fights over properties continues. This time it is between siblings - former top Singapore model Rabiah Weiss, 60, who was known as Asia’s answer to Twiggy in the ’70s, and her lawyer brother Salem Ibrahim.

Ms Rabiah Weiss in her heyday as a top model in the '70s. The enterprsing Singaporean was also a fashion designer, boutique owner and interior decorator. -- File Pictures:

All the properties are in London.

The high-profile family includes Singapore’s first attorney-general, a movie director in the US and several models.

The two siblings brought their fight over eight London properties to Singapore recently.

They had been involved in a joint venture to invest in the properties.

It was agreed that they would register offshore companies in Seychelles and the British Virgin Islands to buy the properties.

Mr Salem was the companies’ sole director and Ms Rabiah was a shareholder.

Ms Rabiah accused Mr Salem of not keeping proper accounts and of using the venture’s funds for his own purposes.

In 2003, she sued him, and asked the High Court to order that he account for his dealings in the venture.

She also wanted him to compensate her.

The lawsuit took four years to go to trial as Ms Rabiah amended the claims three times. Mr Salem then had to amend his defence.

Mr Salem, represented by Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim and Mr Kelvin Tan of Drew & Napier, denied pocketing the funds.

He claimed the siblings had agreed that for tax efficiency, his personal UK bank account would be used to receive money related to the venture.

He denied that he was a partner in the venture and owed his sister any duties as a director of their companies.

Mr Salem also countersued his sister for his share in the properties, after accounting for rent received, renovation and other work done on the properties.

In February, Justice Judith Prakash dismissed Ms Rabiah’s claim.

Mr Salem appealed against some aspects of the judgment, but dropped his application in June, when the deadline for his sister to appeal lapsed.

According to court papers, the dispute began in mid-1996, when Ms Rabiah and her second husband, Frenchman Pierre-Alain Weiss, stayed in Mr Salem’s house while on holiday here.

At the time, Ms Rabiah already owned six houses in London, and supported her family with the rent earned from properties.

CHAIN OF BOUTIQUES

She went into the fashion business in 1968, founding a successful chain of Trend boutiques.

The first boutique, started on North Bridge Road in 1968, sold flower power clothes she designed herself, including bell-bottom trousers and mini skirts. Her elder sister, Fatimah, was her business partner.

She used to put on her boots and dance like she was in a disco at the windows of her shop to attract the crowds.


That was her idea of promoting sales then. Eventually, in 1988, she sold her successful chain of 23 Trend boutiques to fellow Singaporean urbanista and entrepreneur Farah Khan.

She then switched to interior design, restoring period houses in Britain and France.
During her stay at Mr Salem’s house, the siblings had discussed entering the London property market.

Their talks resulted in an verbal agreement to buy and refurbish residential properties, intending to rent or sell them for profit.

Between October 1996 and February 1998, the siblings bought eight houses in London, in districts like Southwark, Dulwich and Peckham Rye.

The purchase price of one of the properties was not stated. The other seven were bought for a total of £556,000 ($1.7m at today’s rates).

Each sibling contributed £100,000 to the venture, while banks such as Hill Samuel Merchant Bank and Lloyds Bank extended loans.

Since then, the properties have been sold, with a profit of about £1million.

Despite the success of the venture, the siblings’ relationship soured.

She now owns an art gallery in Holland Village. -- File Pictures

TRUCE BUT NOT FOR LONG

In mid-2001, another sibling, Mr Victor Adam Ibrahim, brokered a truce between the two.

The estranged siblings signed a settlement agreement, agreeing to dissolve the venture, keep what each had put in and split the remaining equally.

But the settlement did not work, and the siblings ended up in court.

Dismissing Ms Rabiah’ case, Justice Prakash said Mr Salem did not owe his sister any duties as a trustee.

However, Justice Prakash found that contrary to Mr Salem’s claim, he was indeed his sister’s business partner, even in the absence of a partnership agreement.

This was so as the siblings had agreed to go into business for an indefinite period - there was no time limit for the properties to be sold.

While Mr Salem admitted to using the venture’s funds for personal purposes, he pointed out that his sister had done the same.

Justice Prakash noted that the siblings were used to mixing venture funds with their own money and were both content for this practice to continue while the venture continued.

In her judgment, Justice Prakash wrote: ‘It was only after the venture broke down that Ms Rabiah complained about the failure to segregate venture monies from personal monies.


‘In my view, that complaint was made far too late to found the ground of an allegation of breach of duty against Mr Salem.’

The year Ms Rabiah sued her brother was also the year she returned to Singapore with her second husband.

In 2004, she made another career switch, picking up the paintbrush.

Last year, she launched her first exhibition at the Fleming Gallery on the second floor of the Holland V Shopping Mall. The gallery is owned by her husband, Mr Weiss, 38.

It is named after her first husband British banker Ian Hues Fleming, who died in 2002.

The reason for that, Mr Weiss said in an earlier press interview, is that he is too shy to use his own name.

He also wanted to encourage her sons David, 34, and Angus, 31, both artists.

Ms Rabiah has another son Adam, 33, with Mr Fleming, whom she married in 1967. They divorced in 1987.

FAMILY OF 11 CHILDREN

Ms Rabiah and Mr Salem belong to a family of 11 siblings, children of a doctor and a midwife.

Their elder brother was Singapore’s first Attorney-General, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim. He was also a co-drafter of Singapore’s Constitution.

Their fourth sister, Ms Hawa Ibrahim, was a model for Pierre Cardin who went on to marry Lord Francis Russell, the youngest son of Britain’s Duke of Bedford.

Their third brother Cal Bellini (birth name: Khalid Ibrahim) is a movie director in the US, who also acted alongside Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman in the 1970 Western Little Big Man.

Both Ms Rabiah and Mr Salem declined comment when approached by The New Paper.

Source: http://propertyhighlights.blogspot.com/2007/

Hawa Ibrahim

One of the early Malay doctors was Dr Mohamed Ibrahim bin Sheikh Ismail (1892-1962) who was born and raised in Singapore. Dr Mohamed Ibrahim had a daughter named Hawa.

Hawa is/was a British fashion model based in London and had used her celebrity model name, "Anak". When I first heard her name from my own mother, I was a teenager, about 14-15 in Form 2 (1972) or Form 3 (1973). I can recall her name and her fellow model, Twiggy. My mother would say "as thin as Twiggy". I was really a thin teenager.

I've tried searching for British fashion models in the late 1960s-1970s but could not find her. I've tried searching for other fashion models of her era like Twiggy. I found Twiggy but not Hawa. I tried this website today http://www.vogue.co.uk/ but failed to locate Hawa. I found Ms Hawa Ibrahim about the time of azan asar today:

"Their fourth sister, Ms Hawa Ibrahim, was a model for Pierre Cardin who went on to marry Lord Francis Russell, the youngest son of Britain’s Duke of Bedford."

Source: http://propertyhighlights.blogspot.com/2007/
----

... Lord Francis, OE - uncle of the present Duke - when he married the Malaysian model Faith 'Anak' Ibrahim in 1971.  


Lord Francis Russell and Hawa Ibrahim @ Faith 'Anak' Ibrahim, 1971
Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images

Source: http://barimavox.blogspot.com/2010/07/get-wed.html