"We do not want to pretend and say that everything is okay. We do not want to be in a state of denial. Tell the truth, even if it is painful." - PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on sugar-coating the facts pertaining to racial ties in the country. (front page of Sunday NST)
This posting is not a radical examination of race relations but Fer Fook's Sake would like to take up the PM's invitation to openly discuss things without a diabetes-inducing mountain of the sweet stuff.
As a non-Muslim, I'd like to share some observations with me fellow Malaysians. But please note that this post is in NO way intended to insult Islam or to provoke any sort of racial sensitivity (this is quite clear but morons will always somehow misinterpret things); instead it is hoped that it will instill a better understanding among us with an open & honest discussion of our Malaysian traits & idiosyncrasies. Ti's just me making some observations, so please feel free to discuss & comment.
RE: Common courtesy
On me commute home from work I have to pass the Sri Kembangan flyover exit on the highway & traffic on this stretch of the road is usually quite fooked up due to the number of vehicles making the turn off into the area.
A couple of days ago, the fooking queue was anaconda length as many people were obviously rushing home to break fast with family & relatives. Most people patiently waited in line but I spotted this tudung-wearing lady just zoom straight to the front & muscle her way into the queue. She's probably in a rush to get home but does she not realise that many of her Muslim brethren behind her are similarly pressed fer time? Is she aware that her anti-social behaviour negates the whole purpose of fasting?
Please note I am fully aware that bad road manners is problem among ALL Malaysians but I would have thought this special & holy month fer Muslims would at least curb such behaviour fer the time being among the faithful.
RE: The Buka Puasa Buffet
I was told by me learned Muslim friends that one of the main purposes of fasting is so you are able to appreciate being in the shoes of someone less fortunate ie making do with just one meal a day & so forth. Thus when a Muslim breaks fast, s/he is supposed to have a modest meal as befitting a person with limited means; NOT indulge in the all-out gluttony that is so prevalent during this time by gorging oneself silly at the many buffet treats at swanky hotels/restaurants.
Another Muslim colleague also says she has stopped going fer these buffets as they have become ridiculously expensive which again defeats the purpose of leading a rudimentary lifestyle during Ramadan. She says she is also disgusted by the typical Malaysian trait of hoarding as much food as the plate can hold simply because it is a buffet (& its usually the most expensive items). The wastage on every table is a sin any time of the year, nevermind Ramadan.
An elderly pakcik in the company also voiced his discomfort at having to attend a company sponsored buffet at a club house as he says this was a time fer spiritual reflection rather than focusing on one's own constant hungers & desires.
Fer Fook's Sake is also of the opinion that these Buka Puasa buffets have become de rigeour with mega corporations here. Many of the large organisations fall over themselves to treat their clients, vendors & media contacts to lavish & increasingly expensive affairs as a means to show off their status & credentials.
If these corporations want to belanja makan, wouldn't it be better & altogether more appropriate to supply food to the many orphanages, retirement homes or charity organisations throughout Ramadan to reflect the good will this holy period is supposed to instill in people.
These observations are just some of the examples of how ALL Malaysians are beginning to lose perspective of the truly important things in life & what should mark us out as a caring, sensitive & thoughtful human beings. We have come a long way since the 70s & not all of it is pretty or welcome additions to our culture . . .