The Mizan Narrative
The development and dissemination of the Mizan narrative are the highest priorities for the success of the Mizan initiative. The Mizan narrative needs to be communicated right across the Muslim world and beyond. The most effective means of communication need to be employed. We propose that it should be realized as a film and a book, and possibly a travelling exhibition.
The Kampung Mizan Project
The kampung (village) is a glorious example of Mizan. The importance of capturing the knowledge contained in kampung from the older generation that grew up in the kampung environment cannot be overstated. A brief case study on Kampung Baru, Kampung Kerinchi, and Abdullah Hukum will also be conducted and a model of kampung in Negeri Sembilan will be adopted from a study site. A major research programme is needed and the seeds for this have already been shown at USIM.
Kampung (village) Research Project
The research team adopts an exploratory discourse on the concept of kampung (village) where at the outset, it acknowledges that existing leadership training modules have failed to account for the social cultural perspectives of leading and leadership. Such shortcomings could have been addressed by revisiting the facets of collectivism, harmony and religion entailed in the invocation of the concept of kampung. The research seeks to reclaim the noble values encompassed in the concept of kampung through the narrative of ‘balik kampung’, where the beauty of the values of close-knitted family, filial piety, courtesy, integrity, tolerance and, more importantly, moderation are immortalised.
The concept of kampung is expounded further through a conceptual framework that positions kampung within an overarching umbrella of what is known as culture. The research critically analyses the complex and interactional dynamics of the building concepts from which a culture is said to have emerged. A holistic understanding of the building concepts of ‘adat’ and ‘rukun’ that personify ‘budi’ as ingrained in the concept of ‘rasa’ and yet grounded in concepts of ‘akar’, ‘iman’, and ‘ilmu’, illustrates the substantive and implicit dimensions of kampung. Such understanding enables the synthesis of noble values inherent in the concept of kampung that are still relevant today, and the subsequent reclaiming of these values in the training of leaders.
Hence, in order to bridge noble values and the training of leaders, the research team recognizes the need to inquire into where we come from, who we are etc. – through the different levels of narration, shrouding the abstract concept of kampung as embedded in our subconscious. Conscious efforts are exerted to understand the choices and preferences entrenched within us that form our ‘jati diri’ (self). This intellectual exercise is fundamental in ensuring that the mental framework of a leader as an ‘agent of change’ is capable of embracing values that are close to our hearts– values which stand immutable despite the passage of time – and yet, are dynamic, flexible and resilient enough to meet the modern standards of good governance. In this context, kampung at a metaphysical level, is hailed as the domicile of change.
A Kampung Mizan Model in Negeri Sembilan
Among the developed areas in Negeri Sembilan are Nilai, Seremban and Port Dickson. However, the rural regions, especially the inland rural regions, remain stagnant with the usual village lifestyle. There is definitely great potential to turn these underdeveloped areas into sustainable models of agriculture and comprehensive educational-related community projects. The beauty of the natural mountainous and undulating regions, wetlands (streams, rivers and lakes) and the flat plains of the inland regions can be transformed into ideal eco/agrotourism regions that will be the talk of Asia. This is also similar to the focus of the state to become an educational hub with the development of colleges and universities. Thus, a comprehensive design of Negeri Sembilan as a scholarly state at both the educational and community levels are important. Kampung Mizan could be an example of the aspiration of Negeri Sembilan to establish a comprehensive educational environment at the community level. We believe that these are highly important projects for the community and country which can be a reality if experts from USIM, UPM, UKM, and consultants from the state and federal governments were to meet and discuss in order to mastermind this noble project. This would help to enhance the integrity and talent, enrich and educate the rural population as well as instill appreciation of the community culture. Kampung and wildlife (flora/fauna) could be a means of acquiring peace of mind and happiness. It would also serve to conserve our national natural treasures and heritage. The proposed projects for the states are:
I. Indigenous domestic animal production
II. Wildlife breeding and research centre
III. Fruits and vegetable farms – organic production system
IV. Camping/ picnic and training facilities
Expected Outputs of Kampung Mizan Initiative
Field research related to kampung (village) and ‘Malay-Muslim kampung’ projects (i.e Bukit Putus, Terachi, Seri Menanti, Ulu Bendul in Negeri Sembilan; Kampung Baru and Kampung Kerinchi in Kuala Lumpur; Jenderam Ulu in Selangor; and Kampung Melayu in Penang).
A research-based coffee table book discussing the rationale and Islamic heritage of kampung. Important kampung that will be specifically investigated are:
I. Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur
II. Kampung Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur
III. Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum, Kuala Lumpur
IV. Kampung Parit Gabis, Perak
V. Kampung Morten, Melaka
VI. Villages in Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan
Three compilation books on kampung – (15-20 articles per book). Important aspects that will be discussed in the books are:
I. The concept and definition of ‘Mizan and kampung’
II. Islamic values on Malay-Muslim kampung
III. The research data on the study of kampung
IV. A compilation of oral history of scholars and important personalities on the story and importance of kampung
V. A documentary on ‘Mizan and kampung’
Photo Exhibitions on Mizan – Kampung and Malay-Muslim kampung that will be conducted four times a year.
Proposing a model to establish a blueprint of Kampung Mizan model and Malay-Muslim kampung model at Negeri Sembilan (Bukit Putus, Seri Menanti, Ulu Bendul, and Terachi).
Qalb Leadership model and training for community to educate youths and future leaders; with a strong emphasis over kampung values and heritage.
Student related activities on kampung as an initiative to foster the development of Negeri Sembilan as a scholarly state from the community level.