The Permaculture community of Malaysia suffered a profound loss this year. One of Murujan’s very own PDC graduates, 31-year-old Ahmad Muaz Mutalib, passed away in a car accident on the 21st of November 2015. Family, friends, and those who knew him dearly miss him as an individual they loved and cared about. He was kind, humble and always willing to lend a hand. His cheerful and easy-going character touched those who met him, and impacted those who knew him well.
His tragic demise was not only a personal loss but served a huge blow to the momentum for improving Malaysia’s outlook on ecology. Among his many projects, Muaz was deeply involved with Sri Lovely Farm (http://www.srilovely.com/), an initiative to promote a wonderful, locally grown rice cultivated using natural methods, and at the same time revive the abandoned paddy fields in the northern state of Kedah.
Formerly a conventional chicken farmer, he had resolved to develop natural chicken farming methods using Permaculture principles here in Malaysia. He had plenty of ideas and drive, and was always striving to make things happen.
The author had the good pleasure to have met him several times to discuss ideas and plans of how to improve access to quality Malaysian-grown food. His dreams were big, and he realized and understood the obstacles he faced, but that only made him more determined and active. Hopefully his story can inspire us to be an integral part of the transition that needs to happen in the way we grow, raise, source and distribute our food here in Malaysia.
Muaz leaves behind a legacy with his most recent FB post a week before the accident, where he spoke fondly of a donation campaign in aid of Sri Lovely. Sri Lovely will provide employment opportunities to small-scale, struggling farmers, at the same time provide education and motivation to potential rice farmers. We urge you to chip in to help further along one of Muaz’s dreams that he was so passionately working towards. Here are the banking details:
RHB Bank (Malaysia) 26413300018574
Account holder: Nurul Huda Abd Mutalib (Sister of Muaz Mutalib)
Recipient Reference: Muaz Mutalib Memorial Fund
Recipient Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beneficiary: Sri Lovely Sustainable Community Farm Initiative
Below is an outpouring of words of remembrance from some in the Permaculture community who knew Kai:
Li Jin Chan:
As my closest compost partner, Kai’s demise devastated me, making me feel even more alone in the struggle to raise awareness and interest in planting and growing. Knowing my obsession with compost-making, he would deliver sacks and sacks of his farm’s chicken dung to my house, at no charge. We were in constant banter about finding him a life partner, my lament being that my daughter was too young for him. Indeed, he would be someone I’d love to have in my family.
But alas, Allah knows best and loves him more. I will forever hold him close to my heart.
Nur Aishah Mohd Shah:
I once witnessed this moment that I decided was a teaching lesson from God. I was driving on PLUS highway when I saw this beautiful, shiny rooster crossing the road right in front of my eyes. He wasn’t really crossing, rather, he flew across from one side to the other side of! I have always known that chickens do fly, but at a very short distance. It was clear to me that he had such a strong determination to cross the road – all 6 lanes and sure enough, he made it! That day, I was left contemplating and comparing how the aspiration of the rooster put my life aspirations to shame.
I think there are many similarities between this amazing rooster and Muaz. Just as the rooster appeared before my eyes for a short moment, so did Muaz, full of determination and aspirations. Like many others whose lives he has touched, I was also very much affected by his passing. But in a way, I am also left in envy of what he has achieved in his brief life and can only hope to follow suit. Truly, he embodied the chivalry of youth, filled with courage!
It was a gift from God that I was able to know him, even for a short time. May God multiply his goodness and grant patience to those whom he left behind.
Nik Amirul Faiz:
Allah chose to take my close friend’s life away last night.
I first met bro Ahmad Muaz Abdul Mutalib during PDC course last January 2014. Got to know that he was also from IIUM & close to several other friends that I know of.
He was an engineer, decided to take the path of agriculture, being a Permaculture activist & farmer working on q plot of land in Kedah, now named Sri Lovely farm.
He’s known to be involved in a lot of charity works, very funny & happy go lucky guy. We even shared marriage jokes as to I was always on the look for his other half for him. So every time we meet I would always share with him a potential candidate :p
Last time I met him was mid October 2015. Wanted to start an interesting online platform CSA with another 2 colleagues, chat here & there on whatsapp & telegram. That was the last.
Ironically, I was self reflecting myself last night, evaluating again my life goals; where am I now & what have I achieved so far. The thought that struck me is that we can have dreams to achieve a long term goal in the next 5 to 10 years maybe, but I also figured we need to make the best of what is now. You can spend your whole life to make a fortune for the benefit of later part in your life, but the now entails what you give so the past can remember you by that.
Then that reality struck my mind; life is now, & we never know whether Allah is going to let us spare another day, OR even another second.
True enough, that reality check just shot right in my heart with this incident.
Life waits for no man. So make the best of it. As much as we want to make a fortune, always check & balance on what we give daily, even how we conduct ourselves around our close ones everyday.
Because the fortune we take can never be brought with us in our graves, but its the deeds we give to this world that will be our fortune that we will answer in front of our Lord; also be remembered by those still living on this temporary planet.
Rest well my friend. May Allah ease your time in barzakh. May we reunite in jannah.
May we all be reminded to build what will last. Ameen.