Why Malay Leaders Irked Me This Few Days

After having not blogged for quite a while, I knew that I needed a real sense of inspiration to just get that literary juices up and flowing. The inspiration came in the recent revelations that has been dominating the news scene with regards to Mas Selamat’s rendezvous with the law. To cut the long story short, it was revealed during the recent Parlimentary session, that Mr Fugitive has sought the help of his own brother. Thus implicating them. In summary, the unfortunate family was heavily implicated and were “rewarded” for their family piety with jail terms, which in my honest opinions, to be severe. What was even more unfortunate was the fact that Mas Selamat Kestari’s niece, who was said to have helped applied make up in his efforts to be disguised, got the heaviest jail sentencing of 18 months.

The Hypocrisy Of The Malay Leaders

As I watched the news, on the day everything was revealed, I was alarmed at the manner by which the media decided to frame the story. As if reporting the news itself, was not sufficient, the media decided to have a field day of approaching Malay Muslim leaders and preachers in the hope of getting notable quotes. And not failing to disappoint, these selected elite of leaders all condemned the act of harboring Mas Selamat as a sinful act, not befitting of a Muslim living within the social context of Singapore. The incoming Mufti, was explaining and rationalizing the whole episode in his best diplomatic, media friendly manner to ascertain the fact that the family was not acting in accordance with the “syara'”. Malay association leaders gave their takes, in next day’s reported newspaper articles, in an act of solidarity that indeed, these unfortunate family members of Mas Selamat has in a way, failed the community. Minister for Muslim Affairs, expressed his “disappointment” that the family had even considered letting Mas Selamat sleep in for over a day.

I found all these suggestions and comments from the Malay Muslim leaders, to be rather appalling and gut wrenching.

  • Any idiot, not a Muslim withstanding, knows that harboring an escaped detainee is wrong. Especially, if the dude is a suspected terrorist. But what is the deal with the need to emphasize on the fact that, according to the “syara”, such acts are considered sinful. What about putting it across, on live TV, by an incoming Mufti, that drinking, fornication, gambling, poverty and a whole lotsa things are also not in accordance with the “syara”? How about the incoming Mufti, saying something useful like, how he acknowledges that it’s okay to skip prayers during National Day performances? I mean, please get real with the context of the discussed matter. Why is there a need to conveniently highlight on the religious implications of harboring Mas Selamat to make it seem like it’s a heaven and hell issue? Why the particular interest in coming out with a comment? Why is there an obligatory need to explain?
  • A Malay Minister asked in Parliment, if the disclosure that Mas Selamat had wore a tudung, will implicate the tudung wearing community at large. Asking if there will be unnecessary backlash in the form of more stringent checks or highlights? This dude just asked the most ridiculous question a Malay MP could have asked. To make matters even funnier, a female non tudung wearing MP, was sniggering in the background. This innocent sounding MP apparently does not realize the stupidity of this question, no matter how relevant he may wanna put in as an argument. The truth is, even before Mas Selamat decided to model tudung as a fashion wear, such checks are needed to ensure the safety of this little island. In fact I’ve seen how, MRT patrolling law enforcers round up a Muslim man, wearing a jubah and a songkok, with a beard and holding a book by Mitch Albion. These zealous cadets, questioned this poor man by the pillar, with onlookers around. Mr Malay MP, you need not wear a tudung to be stringently checked. Sport a beard and walk around in songkok, and you’ll know exactly, just how ridiculous your questions were.
  • Overheard conversations by a group of Malay teachers chastising the act done by Mas Selamat’s niece, who was an educator by profession too. The niche content of the conversations, was about how stupid the niece was in doing so, thus affecting her life since she will be sacked by the Ministry, and how she will have to pay back the unserved bond, and how she will struggle to rebuild her life since her record has been tainted, and about how her act was a blatant betrayal to the oath she had undertaken when she signed up to the Ministry. To these group of young and unassuming professionals, I say, “Earn your first dollar from selling tissue paper first, before you even dare breathe a word against a fellow Muslim, no matter how wrong she may have been adjudged to be.” These hoohah is not befitting for young idiots like them to summarize, as they have yet to understand fully the scale of the matter. It is easier to form a hypothetical idea about the matter, since it’s not their fathers, brothers, uncles or boyfriends that are being made the figures in the plot. To pass off irresponsible, “I know her” comments are uncalled for. Especially coming from a community that is readily identified as easy bootlickers in all manners of social living.

No matter how wrong, the implicated individuals may have been made out to be, the community has no rights or basis to pass off any assumptions and judgments, even if is to come from an incoming Mufti. The gravity of the subject matter, should not be about them. It should be about the simple inability of this community (ie Malay) to look beyond their acts, and understand fully the fragile state by which we have secluded ourselves into. The immense desire to constantly seek approval, gratification and validation from all quarters of this country is becoming increasingly pathetic. It is almost as if, we want to be apologetic about the things we do, and the things we say. We are so keen in quickly disassociating ourselves from those we see, through media’s eyes, as perpetrators of peace and serenity. We are so keen to embrace the ideal that the community, is always ready 24/7 to forge ties and community livingship with other races and faith. We want to be seen as the hosts, goodwill ambassadors towards a multi cultural understood society. We wanna open our houses and mosques to any Tom, Dick and Harry, in our bid to show just how accepting the community is. We are okay, with the young so brazenly celebrating Halloween and Christmas because we understand that such is the dynamics of this metropolitan styled life. We feel, that we can bend in and around social affairs as long as we receive an invisible endorsement, that yes, the Malay Muslim community ins Singapore is doing everything beyond it’s powers to make sure, Singapore stays a free country.

But whilst we try so hard to light the paths of those in the house with our candle, we (Malay community) did not realize that one day, we might just burn down our house with that same candle.

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2 thoughts on “Why Malay Leaders Irked Me This Few Days

  1. I share the same sentiments for you bro. It sickens me seeing everyone with this ‘holier than thou’ attitude. Personally, I do not understand why there is a need to make a big issue out of this. They talk about how the family helped Mas Selamat out, conveniently diverting us from the fact that the poor enforcement of system at the detention centre was the first cause of his escape.

    I echo your sentiments on the fact that people are quick to point fingers and criticize the question of others when the fact is, who knows what we will do if it were our own family members who came to us asking for protection. Some like to think that their superlative ‘moral values’ will mean that they will never have to face with such a situation. They forget that everything happens with Allah’s will and grace.

    Yes, what they did was wrong and they have been punished. It may be a tad excessive, but I suppose the government really wanted to send a strong message out. Still, no reason to perpetuate this issue just for the sake of showing solidarity and alignment with community’s values. Live and let live.

    Then again, what do you expect from a community where its members have always been quick to differentiate themselves from perceived offenders?

    1. Exactly bro. I initially had reservations about having this post, until I heard the comments made by these “holier than thou” young teachers. Was a tad disappointed. The often repeated quotes by the incoming Mufti was yet another comment, I found hard to digest. Maybe this was the perfect PR campaign to get him on the path of recognition.

      What is rather ridiculous is the nature by which the media, especially Berita Harian and Suria have decided to depict the families. But I don’t blame them, considering that they are state medias. But how about the leaders? Is there a need to come out and give their opinions? I don’t think so. But they were speaking as if they were representative of the community in general. Which sounded so wrong.

      At the end of it all, I hope that Allah has better designs for this unfortunate family. For the buffoons who said that the niece’s life is finished since she may not get jobs, I hope they remember that it’s not MOE who provides sustenance. They forgot the element of God in their arguments.

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