The political scene in Malaysia is really getting ridiculous and is fast becoming irrelevant.
What was once a platform to unite the rakyat is now a platform to divide the rakyat, what with the dissemination of misinformation and disinformation, as well as the dissemination of unfounded and mischievious allegations.
Almost everything is given a political twist and I guess, it would not be long before someone going to the loo to ‘do his personal business’ will also be politicized. How, I would not know but we’ll get there, I’m sure although I would love to be proven wrong.
The most recent ‘piece of work’ involves a politician from the Opposition (who else!) whose aim in life it seems, is to depict everything Malay, be it customs, culture, religion (quoting the Holy Quran to Muslims during political lectures when he himself is not a Muslim really takes the cake!), traditions, and leaders (political, community and royalty) in bad light. In short, everything that a Malay holds dear.
It is common knowledge that Muslims the world over had just observed the holy month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast from day break til sun down. As the holy month of Ramadan draws to an end, as it has always been the case, Muslims begin to make preparations to celebrate the coming of Syawal.
Homes are cleaned and spruced up to make even the most runned down of houses look brand new. As is the custom, the departed are not forgotten with the graves of loved ones cleaned and prayers offered.
These are just some of the preparations that Muslims undertake, to welcome the holy and joyous month of Syawal.
This first day of Syawal is quite commonly known the world over as Eid Mubarak or as we know it in Malaysia, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.
In fact, Muslims are commanded to celebrate Syawal, so as to signal the successful observation of the holy month of Ramadan, so much so we are forbidden to fast on the first day of Syawal.
Why forbidden, you might ask?
Well, Muslims are exhorted to fast for six days in the month of Syawal, where the fasting during these six days in Syawal together with the fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is said to be equivalent to fasting for a year. Whether these six days of fasting is done on a continuous basis or staggered over the month of Syawal, it does not matter.
In Malaysia, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri or Eid Mubarak, as a religious festival, starts with morning Aidil Fitri prayers.
Once the prayers are over, the congregation returns to their respective homes where a long standing family tradition of seeking each other’s forgiveness for the past year’s transgressions is enacted : children seeking forgiveness from parents and of parents from their children, wives from their husbands and husbands from their wives.
Basically and essentially, everyone seeks each other’s forgiveness.
Once the soul cleansing is done and relations are renewed, comes the part where the little ‘uns look forward to very much every Hari Raya Aidil Fitri – the giving out of little packets of money called ‘Duit Hari Raya’, the amount of which depends on the one giving out these packets.
Fathers hand out these money packets to their children (for so long as they are not married and/or working yet), husbands to wives, children (matured and gainfully employed) to their parents (normally aged), grandparents to grandchildren and so on.
All this is enacted within the family structure and it gives Hari Raya Aidil Fitri a ‘feel good’ and joyous start to the day.
The scene is replayed over and over again when we pay a visit to friends, relatives and family members at their homes, spread good cheer and greetings between one another.
We drink (no alcohol of course), we eat and we make merry and we seek each other’s forgiveness and we give money packets to the little ‘uns, aged relatives, friends and the needy that we come across.
This theme is replayed in many different scenarios – old folks’ homes, orphanages, and what have you.
Hence, to suddenly read that a non-Muslim, non Malay opposition ‘leader’ and parliamentarian who claims to have grown up in multi racial Malaysia, calling the giving out and receiving of the money packets by Muslims especially our Muslim leaders as ‘bribes’ and ‘animal feed’, is not only TOTALLY uncalled for and TOTALLY out of line BUT it is also an INSULT to the Muslim and Malay communities whose festivity this is.
If he must be reminded, then let him be reminded that the giving out of money packets do not only happen during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri but also Chinese New Year, where the only difference is the colour of the packets but the intentions remains essentially the same.
There are also other celebrations that money packets are given out eg weddings, feasts or to use the local word for it, ‘kenduris’ etc where money packets are given by guests to the host, to lessen his financial ‘burden’ in holding the feast or kenduri in the first place.
Are these considered bribes? Are these considered ‘animal feeds’? If these are ‘animal feeds’, then is the ‘Honourable’ member of Parliament saying that the receiver is an ‘animal’?
Claiming to be misquoted or that your social media accounts were hacked or hijacked by cybertroopers do not hold water any more. Remember the boy who cried wolf?
Furthermore, if the ‘Honourable’ MP remembers correctly, whose interests did the cybertroopers of the Red Bean Army served before and during the last two elections? Well, for sure it ain’t the Government or the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
For the ‘Honourable’ MP and the DAP head of Perak state, as they say, please put your brain ‘into gear’ before letting your mouth ‘run off’.
Or is it already ‘in gear’ when your mouth ‘ran off’?
If so, as the popular saying goes, you will reap what you sow and from his track record thus far, it does not look nor smell good.
Date : 14 July 2016