Chow Ah Beng

Chow Ah Beng

Yesterday evening I received an E-mail from Group Corporate Communications Department inviting me to lunch with the Group CEO next Thursday. Several others were invited as well.

To: Undisclosed Receipients

Dear All,

Dato’ Mxxxxxxx Mxxxxxxx, our Group CEO would like to invite you for a lunch session. The details as below:

Venue : TBC

Date : 30 June 2011

Time : 12.30 – 2.00pm

Your attendance is required. Kindly RSVP by 10.00am, 27 June 2011 by replying to this email.

Thank you and best regards,

Sxxxxxx Zxxxxx

Group Corporate Communications Department

So I immediately replied:

To: Undisclosed Receipients

Dear Sxxxxxx,

Thank you for the invite.

I accept the invitation and shall attend.

Best regards,

Capt John F SeaDemon
QHSE Manager
Kxxxxxx Mxxxxx Drilling

“Know safety, no pain. No safety, know pain”

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device via Vodafone-Celcom Mobile.

This morning, one Chow Ah Beng replied:

To: Undisclosed Receipients

Dear Sxxxxxx,

Thank you for the invitation. I will attend.

The venue is at TBC, where is it located at ?

Thank you.

Best regard

Cxxxx Hxx Kxxxx


A Moment of Aberration

Lately, it seems, some people in Malaysia have been preoccupied with pigs’ DNA and ensuring that you have the skills to satisfy a bull elephant in order to keep your husband in check. If you notice the title to this post, it may make you wonder a little.

The story of how lard is found in gelatin that makes up the ingredients of ice-creams in Malaysia can be traced (as far as my memory goes) as far back as 1979 when, being in a hostel surrounded by friends whom had wanted to get it right religious-wise, and having an old boy of the college as the President of the Muslim Youth Association of Malaysia, flyers depiciting the percentage of lard in ice-creams started flying around. Being young, your mind is most easily corrupted influenced. No one then actually challenged the findings, accepting them as the authenticated authority.

Sadly, in the Internet age, people still behave as they did back then. There is so much information cloud flying around in the world wide web for people to verify and authenticate information with, but they just refuse to do so. Not that they don’t, but they choose to believe what they want to believe without being objective about it; refusing to go further than obtaining information from the sources they prefer to believe to be true – be it about pigs’ DNA in, more famously nowadays, Starbucks’s coffee, and IKEA Malaysia’s meatballs.

Sometimes, I wonder where has simplicity in Islam as a way of life has gone? Slowly, those sitting in those chairs administrating the religion are behaving like the Jewish rabbis 100 years into the Common Era; advocating Mishnash and dictating how one should live their life, more often than not, without making reference to the Torah. The words of the rabbis became things inscribed in stone for the Jews, much like how words of the Imams or Ulama nowadays influence over the Muslim population. In the end, we look up at these people as if they have divine status, forgoing God as the Ultimate Being, so much so that Islam is no longer simple, nor is it user-friendly and attractive.

The DNA of pigs would be everywhere we go. In the rivers that make up the water we drink; on the utensils we use; on the handrails of the escalator or the pole inside the LRT trains; on the money that we use – we can use whatever filtration process but there is no guarantee a pig’s DNA will not end up on our hands – even in Saudi Arabia for that matter. So, just go back to basics. Even the former Mufti of Perlis said that as long as the food served was halal, there should be no worries about consuming it, adding that some Muslims were known to have reservations using cups, plates and other utensils in non-Muslim homes. He expressed his disappointment with the prevalence of the misconception, which he described as rubbish.

“I am disappointed with such interpretations of Islam. The religion urges us to think; it heightens our intelligence. But these opinions only make a person less than intelligent .”

Somehow, Muslims especially Malays are lazy at thinking. Which is why we’re always finding ourselves in trouble, or creating trouble for others.

Like I mentioned, this is my moment of aberration – digressing from the norm to speak about things others may not like. But this is me.