Friday, February 11, 2011

V-Day crackdown

Dating a JAKIM (the Malaysian Islamic Development Department ) officer shouldn't be too hard this Valentine's Day. After all, since they'll probably be sprawling fanatically waiting patiently all over the place in obvious sin-inducing locations romantic spots and fine dining areas trying to catch people in love compromising situations, one of them might be smart enough to take me out to dinner to blend in as an undercover agent whilst feeding a hungry person at the same time. I wonder what "compromising situation" entails.

Just imagine, candles in hazy glow, violins humming, the (insert favourit food here) is wrenching your stomach juices to masochistic bliss, the mood is set...... Suddenly red lights flash furiously and sirens blare with a whine that sounds live a lovelorn bitter female. The candles are sitting limp in a pool of H2O-tainted oil, having being put out by the water sprinkler that like a sprite, lives solely to dampen the moment

Customers look around curiously, not sure whether to leave the restaurant that has turned victim of retribution having not settled payment for its subscription of Murphy's Law digest or stay to rescue the fillet mignon that has been given a second chance at life, swimming in a lake of watered down garlic butter. The A-Team SWAT JAKIM Team bursts through the oak-panelled kitchen doors with enough fire power to take down the Bakun Dam and makes a mad dash to a corner of the restaurant.

Is there a bomb hidden in the mess of salmon terrine with rosemary baby potatoes? A torch shines into the plate of now broken tumeric wedges, the sea salt lighting up under the glare that could blind Superman, let alone signal him from New Krypton. The leader mumbles into the walkie talkie, gives his assent and two burly JAKIM officers arrest a burqa-abaya-clad woman and a wild-eyed young man. "We didn't DO anything!" the young man terrified, blurts out.

The leader, clearly a meglomaniac who didn't score with the highschool cheerleader, breathes heavily into his Darth Vader-isqe mask and slowly enunciates the reason for this humiliation. "Did you or did you not, share a potato wedge?"

Given that this is Malaysia, I frankly wouldn't be surprised if couples were coerced into said compromising situation and then caught just so that JAKIM can announce that their Ops Sikap version for Budaya Kuning was a success. Admittedly the JAKIM only 'catch" Muslims so what does that have to do with me? Why stick my nose into an 'internal affair' that I am neither privy to nor bound by? Religion aside, it is an avenue for another call to the Government to reform. Forget about the NEP or quotas for now, the Government isn't doing much to nurture the psychological well-being of the Malay community either.

I am not a feminist but I think there's something inherently wrong with a system that allows 14-year old girls to marry 40-year old men; a system that condemns fornication but allows negligent husbands to beat or abandon their wives and young children; a system that ignores human rights in favour of religious bigotry. I'm not saying Islam is at fault, after all, there are different branches under the same umbrella, maybe some teachers are not exactly doing a very good job at discipling. Just show me where it says in the Quran that the wife is to be a perpetual doormat. The least they could do is enforce the same moral grounds on both sexes.

According to the Star, "In August last year, Nasrudin said that Valentine’s Day and New Year celebrations were among the major causes of baby dumping in Malaysia as both occasions had encouraged liberal socialising and free sex." Nasrudin is the PAS Youth Chief. The UMNO Youth Chief is no smarter: read here.

When we have such wonderful examples of intelligence representing Malaysia to the world, is there any need to defend ourselves anymore? Probably Nasrudin likens himself to the self-righteous Prospero after reading Shakespeare's Tempest and the rest of us "morally-deprived" creatures smearing his hallowed island are like Caliban, our sole aim being to permeate the soil with our progeny. Yes, that must be it.

Thank goodness there are people in Malaysia sane and calm enough to speak up. I end with the following excerpt which forms part of a letter by one Eunice Wong, writtten to the Star following JAKIM's antics.

“Sinful activities can happen anytime at any place, not only on Valentine’s Day, and most importantly not in Malaysia only. To not let it be a sinful outcome, one must have self-control, a conscience, fear of God and above all discipline and the simple knowledge of the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. Yes, I agree with SIS (Sisters-in-Islam) that there are more pressing matters to be dealt with instead of focussing on becoming a “moral police.” It is sad that a celebration so simple and family oriented should have such a negative impact on some. To me, it is to each his own. Everything is in one’s hand. Should unwarranted incidents happen, why blame Valentine’s Day or any celebration or holiday? We must remember God has given us the capability to think and make choices. Let us make the right ones and not tarnish the true meaning of any celebration in this blessed country of ours."

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