If You Ask Me

Ramadhan has come and gone, and we have gone forth past the first week of Syawal. And having celebrated its 53rd year of independence, Malaysia is only 47 years old.

I will not dwell into that much, but if you want to read more about the road to the formation of Malaysia, you can read my father’s article in The Star, or specifically Nothing We Cannot Overcome.

If you ask me about Malaysia, I have this to say:

We are definitely far more advanced than we were 30 years ago, but we have progressed superficially and lack soul. We have diversity but lack unity. I would say our race relations, peculiar to the urban areas, have but all gone down the drains – we are in a position worse than we were in immediately after the 13th May 1969 tragedy. We see each other by the colour of skin, the religion we embrace. I have only the politicians and religious people to blame. My own religion, Islam, in Malaysia, is riddled with misinterpretations, adoption of wrong traditions as norm, putting more trust in the words of holier-than-thou scholars than trusting God’s own words, looking at people of other religion as sub-human. There is little respect by people of my religion for people of other religion, and the respect and trust by people of other religion towards my religion are now running on vapour – no thanks to the ragheads and myopic religious scholars (plus those whom I term as Express-Bus religious).

Politics, too, is ever so divisive. Instead of becoming mature voters we take sides and become political-fanatics, seeing the supporters on the other side as nothing more than a threat to whoever’s-it-is security and existence. And despite the fact that power corrupts on both sides of the fence, we prefer this “lynch-them-to-death” stance so we can feel better about ourselves. We don’t only divide ourselves according to parties, but also by race and religion.

Social values have also gone down the drain. More and more dead babies turn up in odd places. The best part is, parents and society blame the government for their failures of their children. Then when some good samaritan propose the formation of centers for unwanted babies, religious group cry foul saying that that would only encourage more people to commit fornication and create more unwanted babies. People cry foul over everything, but never once do they come up with reasonable and practicable alternatives.

You get free cremation thrown into the package if you plan to buy land using a certain lawyer in the Kuala Langat district.

We are xenophobic. Okay, we don’t go around throwing shit or burn flags at a neighbour’s embassy, but generally we treat foreigners who work for us like shit. We treat our maids as if they are some kind of superwomen who need not enough sleep or food. Yes, there are crappy maids who are total crap and steal from you, but I said GENERALLY. The same goes to how we treat our foreign workers in the construction and plantations sectors. More often than not, you see foreigners who walk in a group get harassed by the authorities, stopping them, asking them for their identification. The way we see them, every single mainland Chinese or Mongolian is either a pimp or a prostitute; every single Indonesian woman is a potential RM30 prostitute; every single Thai woman is a potential masseur who gives happy ending; and every single African man is a rapist.

However, every single white-skinned guy is good to get married to; every single Arab we see as religious, despite them wearing the Hijab and eating in public in broad daylight at KLCC during the month of Ramadhan.

I’m sure there are more that I could add here. But I would like to hear what you think.

A Hari Raya Again


Hari Raya has never meant much to me, at least for the past four years or more. This is because Hari Raya meant the constant quarrels over where to celebrate and when; then in 2007, I found myself celebrating Hari Raya alone. In 2008, only my eldest daughter was with me on Hari Raya. The following year was more meaningful as I had remarried and celebrating with someone who truly loves you meant everything. Somehow, in the midst of the joy of Hari Raya, my thoughts went to my children who were not celebrating the auspicious day with me.

And this year, they are. It feels good to be able to hear their voice again in the morning. It feels good to know that they will all be with us this Hari Raya.

Selamat Hari Raya, people, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever race and religion you are.

The wife and kids breaking fast together on the penultimate day of fasting

The kids playing sparklers together

Mother and daughter doing groceries together

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

I know people have been putting up various pantuns on their Facebook status, so I am not to be left out. I made this Pantun 8 Kerat specially for this occasion:

Kerapu masak tiga rasa,
Letak garam dua camca,
Asam jawa setengah cawan,
Itu resepi gila saya;
Saya bergurau awak terasa,
Saya berberak awak terbaca,
Itulah sebab kita berkawan,
Selamat menyambut Hari Raya.

Selamat Hari Raya to you, my friends, regardless of religion, colour of skin, and political border. Drive safe, and eat ’til you shit!

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