The latest and hottest news making the rounds nowadays is the dissolution of the current Parliament and therefore the date of the long-awaited 13th General Elections (PRU13). That and the “little news” of “a small sum” of RM3 billion operated by a certain somebody who’s always in the news.
Anyway, before we digress, it must be said that the announcement with respect to PRU13 is and has been long-awaited ever since the conclusion of PRU12 and for some parties, even before the elected MPs were sworn in. That may sound like a bit of an exaggeration but so caught up in the results of PRU12 that some parties can’t wait for PRU13 to seize power. Remember a little side-show that included filming in Taiwan?
We digress again. Sorry, can’t help it. So many side shows to the main attraction. For one, the making of a commercial for a detergent. So aggressive it has been so much so that it now has three versions, each an upgrade of the other within a short space of time, for one. The latest with shots done on international locations including in the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
Another side-show was the so-called gathering of ‘very conscientious and environmentally friendly’ Malaysians to demonstrate against the desecration of the Malaysian environment, symbolised by the proposed setting up of a Lynas rare earth plant in the state of Pahang. The gathering must have been impressive enough to be offered a cameo role (or was it supporting role?) in the latest edition of the advertisement of the detergent.
As a Malaysian Muslim, the Mecca and Medina incidents must be viewed seriously as these irresponsible actions have damaged not only Malaysia’s name on the international front (but then again, do these people care?) but also the so often stated special relationship between Malaysia with the Saudi government. A special relationship that Malaysia does not take for granted, mind you.
It is common knowledge that the Saudi government view unfavourably on any sort of political demonstrations on their soil especially by Muslims from other nations granted entry into the Kingdom to perform religious obligations eg the Hajj and the Umrah. Since the Saudi government also decides on the quota for each country’s annual Hajj delegation, the Mecca and Medina incidents if allowed to be repeated will ultimately affect the country’s Hajj quota.
If and when that day comes, it will be a sad day for Malaysia. All the years of effort put into making the relationship between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia on an excellent standing, with a view to help facilitate our country’s Muslims’ religious obligations will have gone down the drain. And for what? To satisfy the overwhelming desire of one man so much wanting to seize power and declare himself Prime Minister of Malaysia? To answer the call of Ambiga to demonstrate the effectiveness of the detergent’s advertising campaign?
That being the case, can we, the country’s Muslims, sue Ambiga and her cohorts for loss of privileges that has been accorded to us Malaysian Muslims thus far by the Saudi government? Maybe yes but I personally would doubt that can happen, for Ambiga and Co can always, to borrow the current national favourite phrase, lawyer up as it is their right under the Malaysian constitution.
But for us Malaysian Muslims? What then? Can we ever forgive Ambiga and her cohorts if and when that happens?
Which takes up right to the long-awaited announcement of PRU13, which is still the subject of speculation. Rumours making the rounds had it that the PRU13 will be held either in June or September. However, statements by community leaders from Sabah and Sarawak put paid to June being election time as it coincided with the month-long Kaamatan and Gawai Dayak festivals respectively. It does make sense that they do not want these traditional festivals to turn into a political battleground. It is the time for families to meet up and connect, not to square up to each other.
Hence, that leaves September as the next option (if you believe the grapevine). This is where it gets interesting. The Hajj is expected to be in late October and traditionally most pilgrims will have started making their way to the Holy Land the month before ie September. A certain political party got so panicky that a statement (or is it a directive?) has gone out to all party loyalists to forego the Hajj this year so as not to miss their chance to vote in PRU13 (assuming it will be held in September) lest the party’s chances (assumed bright going by all the brouhaha) be damaged should their party loyalists go on the Hajj.
Naturally this statement prompted many a religious scholar questioning the wisdom (?) of such a statement. Then came another statement, this time from the party’s youth wing, demanding (?) the Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan (the National Fatwa Council) issue a fatwa on the PRU13 being held during the Hajj season. All this from a party who had agreed to the international locations for the detergent’s advertising (after all only Muslims can enter both holy cities of Mecca and Medina).
But seriously, do we honestly expect people who have saved and waited patiently to perform the Hajj to forego the privilege of performing the Hajj just to vote in the event of a national election? This knowing full well that come the next Hajj season, some of these people may not be around to perform it anymore?
Personally, I think not. The Hajj is the Hajj, and the vote is the vote. In all eventuality, in Allah we Muslims place our faith. And mind you, to perform the Hajj is a privilege for only Muslims who received the calling, and they will make their way, unreservedly and without hesitation, to the Holy Land to answer the call as Tetamu Allah or guests of Allah.
Also, it is also presumptuous of this party to think that all the people who go on the Hajj are exclusively their members or their supporters? Please think carefully before making another statement or has the Nizar syndrome infected the party’s thinking? Think before you talk, please. Don’t make presumptuous statements and embarrass Malaysian Muslims further. Enough damage has been done, thank you very much.
In the final analysis, what matters most is that Malaysian Muslims know whats important in their lives i.e our faith, our people and our nation. Try tampering with that and you may, with all sincerity, have more than hell to pay.
Date : 23 June 2012