Saturday, October 25, 2014

As dogs ate Jezebel

Malaysiakini - Daily death threat avalanche hits Syed Azmi

Organiser of the ‘I want to touch a dog’ event Syed Azmi Alhabshi has been drowning under thousands of death threats and other hateful messages within hours for holding the controversial event, according to his lawyer, Syahredzan Johan.

“He has been getting severe death threats. It is on his WhatsApp, on his phone, on his Facebook, everywhere…

"Just to give a brief (illustration), I was with him yesterday. Just in a few hours, on hisWhatsApp unread messages, there were about 1,000, nearly 2,000 (messages),” Syahredzan (right in photo) said during a press conference today.

They range from threats to break his neck to killing him on sight on the streets, Syahredzan said, and his co-organisers of the event are “extremely concerned” for his safety.

This is Malaysia in the 21st Century, where you can threaten to kill someone you disagree with or whose actions you disagree with. Maybe that's why we have adopted the national slogan of Malaysia Boleh, where we can (depending on whose side you're with/on) with impunity boleh every bloody conceivable actions.

Though there is nothing in the Quran about the uncleanliness of dogs, some Islamic school of jurisprudence (madhhab) like Syafi'i, as practiced in Malaysia, has instructed that the dog is an unclean animal. But another madhhab, Maliki, says dogs are not unclean.

What it tells us about the difference between the teachings of Syafi'i and Maliki is that it's a sectarian issue, and not that of God.

Though Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has informed us that Muslims should be at liberty to adopt the teachings of any Sunni Madhhab, the Malaysian religious authority has declared that the Syafi'i teachings MUST be observed. 

Now, would this be what (as reported by TMI) Kassim Ahmad had said about the ulama 'priesthood caste', where according to him, the ulama have become 'dictators' of the Muslim's understanding of Islam. He stated: "This class of priests control the interpretation of religion to the masses. They are dictators. There is no freedom."

Nonetheless, it seems that for quite a few in Malaysia it's worth killing someone over the issue of 'touching' a dog. I wonder whether it has given foreigners the sad impression that for us, corruption, crimes and injustice can wait while we deal with the far more critical issue of Muslims touching an unclean creature.

And that's what PAS' Khalid Samad has just said, as reported by the Malay Mail Online, that (extracts): 

The collective outrage among Muslims in the country over the recent “I Want to Touch a Dog” event only proves that many do not understand their own faith.

... the events suggest the education system has failed to prepare Muslims for the realities of life in a plural society where dogs exist, a situation not helped when the leaders themselves are unclear about Islam’s guiding principles.

Training his sights on the federal government’s revenue from gambling activities and alcohol sales, Khalid said it is symptomatic of ignorance among the faithful as to what is “halal” and “haram”.

He noted that Putrajaya has continued to ignore proposals mooted in Parliament for revenue from gambling and alcohol to be placed under a special fund to be used for infrastructure development, to avoid paying civil servants using money that is “unclean” or not “halal” — a system that is currently used by the opposition-run Kelantan government.

“So when sensitivities to matters that are dirty and ‘najis’ (filth) are not institutionalised and simply disregarded, why the surprise when Malay Muslims hug dogs? Or take bribes? They do not see such sensitivities in their daily lives and the country’s administration,” Khalid said in his latest posting on his blog,

“But what is strange is that those who are making noise about this programme are not making noise about other ‘najis’ that is being done out in the open,” ...

Leaving above mentioned hypocrisy aside, I did a wee bit of reading on my fave book, the Old Testament, wakakaka.

I note that the Israelites and their Judean descendants considered dogs as unclean, but because the creatures fed on human corpses which were left lying around, or licked up human blood split on the ground.

Anyone who belongs to Jeroboam and dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and anyone who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat, for the LORD has said it!   [1 Kings 14:11]

Doesn't the above also make birds like merpati and merbok unclean a la what's good for the goose should be also for the gander?

Tell him, "This is what the LORD says: Have you murdered and also taken possession?" Then tell him, "This is what the LORD says: In the place where the dogs licked Naboth's blood, the dogs will also lick your blood!"   [1 Kings 21:19]

The dogs will eat Jezebel in the plot of land at Jezreel: He who belongs to Ahab and dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and he who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat.   [1 Kings 21:23-24]

Hmm, those unclean birds again!

Incidentally, on Jezebel the Old Testament had always been biased against women since Genesis (in the Garden of Eden), which is hardly surprising when we know it was written by a bunch of misogynistic priests.

Eve, Tamar (who was bonked and made pregnant by her father-in-law Judah, the ancestor of all Judeans/Jews), Bathsheba, Jezebel and various other biblical women were always blamed for the sins of men, wakakaka.

Mary Magdalene, Yehoshua's partner or more likely wife, was described as a prostitute (harlot). New archaeological discoveries have found that she was Yehoshua's brightest disciple.

The biblical account of good old Rover seems to be quite different from the story behind Jews not eating pork - see my post Why Orthodox Jews don't eat pork! Note that I mentioned 'orthodox Jews' which means some modern or liberal Jews do eat pork.

I had initially wondered whether the dog thingy in the Old Testament might have something to do with the Egyptian god Anpu, who's better known to us as Anubis, wakakaka. Among ancient Egyptian gods, Anpu has a very very ancient pedigree (more than 5,000 years ago).

I observe that Muslims from yonder days had followed or adopted many Jewish practices. I wonder whether that had been a consequence of coincidences or religious adherence by the Muslims of the Jewish religious observances?

Examples of notable similarities have been:

^*#:" - ancient Egyptian for 'Ouch'

  • circumcision (from Egyptian to Israelites to Muslims)
  • pork etc are haram (also from Egyptian to Israelites to Muslims)
  • wearing of haji cap (Jewish yarmulke)
  • praying in direction towards the respective Holy City (Jerusalem and Mecca)

Mind, Jews use wine in some of their religious services while to Muslims, alcohol is of course haram.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

'Dogs' with tongues hanging out

Dr Asri Zainul Abidin, a popular religious scholar (and former Chief Mufti of Perlis) said Ulama who mislead are like dogs with tongues hanging out.

He emphasized he's neither for nor against the 'I want to touch a dog' (and not 'hug a dog' as some mufti had alleged) event but stressed on his Facebook:

“While we’re busily discussing the issue about touching dogs, let us not forget that there are bigger issues raised in the Quran related to dogs, like ULAMA WHO ACT LIKE DOGS.”

“A Mat Rempit, robber, or a dishonest leader is not worse than an ulama who hides the truth or who twists facts to mislead people. Therefore, the Quran equates ulamas who twist the truth to dogs whose tongues are hanging out.”

Bravo Dr Asri, good on you to tell off those lying clerics who sinfully and willfully went against Allah swt by distorting Quranic teachings (by hiding the teachings or twisting it) to push their own evil prejudices and self-interest agenda.

Interestingly, I believe it had been Dr Asri (if I'm incorrect, I apologize) who quoted a highly respected Syrian Islamic scholar saying that it's quite okay for Sunni Muslims to switch from the teachings of one madhhab (Sunni Islamic school of jurisprudence) to another.

For example, Muslims could switch from Syafi"i teachings to that of the Maliki madhhab. Coincidentally the Maliki madhhad considers dogs as clean creatures.

Well I'll be doggone, that's certainly food for thoughts.

guess where my thoughts are?


Monday, October 20, 2014

Man's best friend recognized as good mates

TMI in its article ‘I want to touch a dog’ event a big hit with Muslims reported:

TMI photo

Siti Sakinah Meor Omar Baki has been afraid of dogs all her life. Not only that, she was told that touching dogs is not allowed in Islam. That was the mentality and teaching instilled in her by her conventional family.

But today, Siti Sakinah, along with her four children, turned up at Central Park in Bandar Utama, Selangor, to participate in the "I want to touch a dog" event to overcome her fear.

"It is also to show that touching a dog is not haram. People are worried about touching the dogs more as it’s a sin instead of worrying about the biggest sins," said Siti Sakinah, a former religious teacher who currently works with an NGO.

She said her husband, an ustaz, gave her the permission to attend today's event.

"I wanted to jump for joy when he said 'yes' and I told my children they had to go. And all of them came today with me to overcome their fear and to learn that dogs are also creatures created by Allah that need love and care," said Siti Sakinah, who touched and petted a few dogs at the event.

"I am still scared of big dogs so I am touching the small ones first," she said gleefully.

Siti Sakinah and her children were among the many families who turned up at the event which was attended by more than 1,000 people.

The organiser of the event, Syed Azmi Alhabshi, said he was satisfied with the turnout.

"We only expected 60 but this is way more than 60. This is overwhelming and I hope I provided enough water for the dogs and apologise for any shortcomings," he said.

Syed Alhabshi expected 60 people but WoW, more than 1000 turned up.

wish I had been that lucky dog, wakakaka

The real gain is that Muslims are no longer prepared to believe what those false prophets or people who misused the good name of the Prophet (pbuh) said. Read this article about dogs (reproduced below) from the website of True Islam which claims its teachings are derived from the Quran.


"You would think they were awake, when they were in fact asleep. We turned them to the right side and the left side, while their dog stretched his arms in their midst" - 18:18



Are they dirty, prohibited animals?

It is traditional among Muslims all over the world to regard the dog as a dirty animal that when touched would void the wudu (ablution) and infect the one who touched it with "nagasah" (dirty impurity)!

Sadly, this concept comes from fabricated hadith which claims that the Prophet ordered the killing of dogs and gave numerous hadith that prohibit the keeping of dogs except for hunting and guarding, due to their dirty status!

However, by studying the Quran we find no such truth. No where in the Quran are dogs prohibited, nor is there any mention of any contaminating effect of these lovely animals who are man's best friend. Consequently, we must dismiss all these hadith that fabricate lies against the Prophet.

1- God tells us in the Quran about the story of the dwellers of the Cave (Surah 18). In verse 13 God tells us that they were good believers and that God guided them. In verse 18 God tells us that they had their dog with them.

Now if dogs are prohibited and dirty, would God speak of those dwellers of the Cave (who had a dog) as good believers?

2- In 5:4 God tells us that it is okay to eat what the trained dogs catch (dogs are used in hunting). Now if the dog is an animal which causes contamination by mere touch, would God tell us it is perfectly okay to eat what the dog catches with his mouth (let alone just touch the dog)?

3- The Quran contains a very important rule for all believers, and the rule is:

Nothing is haram (unlawful) unless it is prohibited by God Himself, and since God describes the Quran as complete, perfect and fully detailed, thus all the prohibitions decreed by God are found in the Quran. The following Quranic verses confirm this truth:

Say, "Who prohibited the nice things God has created for His creatures, and the good provisions?" 
Say, "Such provisions are to be enjoyed in this life by those who believe. Moreover, the good provisions will be exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection." We thus explain the revelations for people who know.” - 7:32

“Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?” - 6:114 
“You shall not utter lies with your own tongues stating: "This is halal (lawful), and this is haram (unlawful)," to fabricate lies and attribute them to God. Surely, those who fabricate lies and attribute them to God will never succeed.” - 16:116

There is not one verse in the Quran where God says that dogs are dirty or that they are prohibited to keep.

4- Is it logical that God would create an animal to be man's best friend and serve him in many ways, and then prohibit such an animal?

5- If this is what the Quran has to tell us about the issue of dogs, then where does all the prohibition come from? Where do the claims that dogs are dirty animals which if touched would void our ablution and render us impure come from? As most other corruptions which have crept into Islam, the source is always the fabricated hadith which are falsely attributed to prophet Muhammad!

Hadith tell us that the Prophet prohibited the keeping of dogs as pets. Other hadith tell us that angels won't enter a room where there is a dog. Other hadith tell us that if we touch a dog our ablution is void and we become impure, and that we have to wash seven times to clean this impurity, the final time in dust. That seems inconsistent with the Quran saying you may eat what they catch for you! Some other hadith go even beyond that to say that we must kill all black dogs!

The following are some examples:

Malik's Muwatta, Book 54, Number 54.5.13:

"Malik related from Nafi from Abdullah Ibn Umar that the Messenger of God ordered all dogs (other than sheepdogs or hunting dogs) to be killed".

Ibn Hanbal's collection: The Messenger of God said: "You shall kill all black dogs, because they are devils."

The question is: Did the Prophet really issue these prohibitions? In addition, did the Prophet have the authority to issue these prohibitions?

The answer is given in the Quran:

"O you prophet, why do you prohibit what God has made lawful in order to please your wives? God is Forgiver Merciful" 66:1

Obviously God did not include the words in 66:1 in the Quran to belittle the Prophet in our eyes, but these words are placed in the Quran in order to confirm to all believers across all time that the Messenger of God does not have the authority to prohibit anything which is not prohibited by God. God is the only Law Maker (6:114) and the only duty of the messenger is to deliver God's message (5:92).

The outcome of all the above is that we must discard all the lies attributed to the prophet regarding  prohibiting dogs and be focused on the Quran as the only source of guidance and religious law.


Kassim Ahmad has been right all along that the 'priesthood caste or ulama have become 'dictators' of the Muslim's understanding of his Islam. He had stated: "This class of priests control the interpretation of religion to the masses. They are dictators. There is no freedom."

As reported by TMI, He riled up Muslims on both sides of the divide when he questioned the use of hadith to interpret the Quran, and described the Prophet as "just a messenger of Allah".

In his lecture titled "The Nation's Direction in the Next Thirty Years", Kassim also questioned the hijab (Islamic headscarf) worn by Muslim women, saying that "the hair is not part of the aurat" (parts of the body which need to be covered according to Islamic teachings).

We have also heard (from TMI):

Dr Syed Farid Alatas, an associate professor at the Sociology Department, National University of Singapore, expressed disbelief over the recent proposal by Kelantan to impose jail term and fine on Muslim men who miss Friday prayers for three consecutive weeks.

"I read that the Kelantan state government intended to fine Muslim men RM1,000 and sentence them to a year's jail if they skipped Friday prayers three times in a row.

"While I agree that society needs rules and regulations, it is immoral and unethical to propose such drastic action on those who do not perform Friday prayers regularly.

"There is an imbalance here as respect for the sanctity of personal life has been completely disregarded. This is bordering on coercion without taking civil liberties into account."

There is this obsessive need by clerics to bully and threaten people so the ulama can hold on to unchallenged power.

See my earlier post Theocratic 3 P's - prohibit, persecute & punish.

TMI also reported: Syed Farid cited another example of a controversial fatwa issued by a former Saudi Arabian grand mufti that the sun orbited the earth instead of vice versa.

The fatwa was issued in 1966 by the late Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abdullah, who claimed that the sun orbited the earth, as the earth was fixed and stable.

My God (sorry, I can't use the 'A' word) or by Jove (Jove or Jupiter was the Roman God), a fatwa on heliocentrism in 1966!?!

This moronic stupidity was exactly what had caused Galileo Gallilei to be charged for heresy more than 300 years ago, in 1633.

Then, Galileo Galilei got into a whole lot of trouble with the Catholic 'priesthood caste', wakakaka, for saying the exact scientific truth, that our Earth moved around the Sun. He was charged for heresy and placed under house arrest for life (yes, for life) because his scientific statement had questioned the teachings of the Holy Scriptures which emphasized on the 'centrality' of Earth in the universe.

What upset the church was Copernicus' theory of Heliocentrism (Sun as the central body in our solar system with Earth orbiting it) conflicting with or threatening the biblical story of the Battle of Gideon as narrated in the Book of Joshua.

where Amorites were when Israelites invaded their country

About one and one-half thousand years before Yehoshua ben Yosef was born (hope you Christians know who he was, wakakaka), the Israelite army led by Joshua in their invasion of Canaan was winning their battle against the native Amorites, but their enemies were likely to escape once daylight gave way to nightfall.

So, according to the bible (written of course by Joshua's descendants, wakakaka) Joshua prayed to YHWH and caused the sun and the moon to stand still in order for the Israelites to finish off their slaughter of the natives in broad daylight (excuse the pun, wakakaka).

Joshua causing the sun to stay still so the Israelite army could continue their genocidal slaughter of the natives of the land Israelites were invading

The bible claims YHWH was the Creator, but alas, like an unfair parent who favoured one child over another, YHWH even gave the Israelites a hand with his heavenly artillery, raining hailstones on the natives of the land (supposedly also his creation), an act not unlike the usual massive USAF bombardment of a country prior to an American military invasion.

The Bible in Joshua 10: 11 -14 (KJV) tells us:

And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. 
Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 
And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.

Joshua and men slaughtering the Amorites with YHWH's help

Amen. But that Saudi Arabian grand mufti memang ta'boleh harap dan ta'boleh dipercayai. Pordah to his 'priesthood caste'.

And Wikipedia tells us:

The historian William Montgomery Watt states that Muhammad's kindness to animals was remarkable given the social context of his upbringing.

He cites an instance of Muhammed, while traveling with his army to Mecca in 630 CE, posting sentries to ensure that a female dog and her newborn puppies were not disturbed.

On the other hand, in a tradition found in the Sunni hadith book al-Muwatta, Muhammad is reported as saying that the company of dogs voids a portion of a Muslim’s good deeds. However, in "two separate narrations by Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet told his companions of the virtue of saving the life of a dog by giving it water and quenching its thirst. 

One story referred to a man who was blessed by Allah for giving water to a thirsty dog, the other was a prostitute who filled her shoe with water and gave it to a dog, who had its tongue lolling out from thirst. For this deed she was granted the ultimate reward, the eternal Paradise under which rivers flow, to live therein forever."

According to a Sunni narration classified as authentic by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, black dogs are a manifestation of evil in animal form; Khaled Abou El Fadl states that the majority of scholars regard this to be "pre-Islamic Arab mythology" and "a tradition to be falsely attributed to the Prophet".

Thus, according to Khaled Abou El Fadl, for a Muslim to believe black dogs are a manifestation of evil in animal form is in fact to believe in pre-Islamic Arab mythology, and to indulge in

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tradition? (2) - new budget briefcase

Remember my post Tradition? just a week ago, in which I discussed the loss of many traditions, not just in Malaysia but elsewhere.


I have just read an article by Tunku Abidin Muhriz, one of my fave columnists in the Malay Mail Online, titled Saving money transparently. Tunku Abidin is also the founding president of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas). It's a good article in which he lamented, among many important budgetary points, that:

The Finance Minister’s speech is perhaps the only remaining guaranteed set piece of parliamentary oratory in Malaysia; rarely are there long speeches tackling constitutional issues to arrive at powerful conclusions.

Now it’s mostly short and punchy statements for easy media consumption, assuming the YB in question isn’t being shouted down by other members or being reprimanded by the Speaker. (For an example of a proper speech, see Tengku Razaleigh’s 20-minute tour de force in denouncing the 1993 constitutional amendments, available on YouTube.)


Surely it has been a gradual but inexorable sad loss of an important parliamentary tradition, one of beautiful or long-winded (wakakaka) debates where the people's representatives would demonstrate their mettle and competency in looking after the people's interests via their public show of understanding of issues and ensuing policy proposals (or counter proposals).

But on a trivial though indicative note, Tunku Abidin wrote (perhaps with tongue in cheek) on an aspect of our loss of 'tradition', as follows:

The budget speech is usually preceded by a photo session featuring the minister showing off the briefcase containing the budget documents outside the Treasury. I cannot find pictures of Tun HS Lee or Tun Tan Siew Sin doing the same, but I presume they did it too, since it’s a Westminster tradition, although in the UK they use a red ministerial box embossed with the royal cypher, of which only four have been used since the 1860s. Photographs suggest that the leather briefcase used last week is different to the one used in 2009.

tradition but with new briefcase

from Lederer de Paris or Montblanc Meisterstuck Selection?

Note in particular his words "... in the UK they use a red ministerial box embossed with the royal cypher, of which only four have been used since the 1860s. Photographs suggest that the leather briefcase used last week [by PM Najib merangkap-ing as Finance Minister] is different to the one used in 2009."


One thing about the Poms, just leave it to them to anchor themselves to and lay it thick on traditions a la Sixteen-K'ong-K'ong (1600 or 15th Century), where the Penang Hokkien word K'ong-K'ong means zero zero (kosong kosong) and also a dig at the pomposity of such declared or hinted vintage pedigree, wakakaka.

Once there was a certain brand of cigarette which avoided the prohibited advertisements of cigarette or smoking per se but laid it on thick about a piece of smoking accessory being made in the 'finest British tradition of craftsmanship of exceptional quality', etc etc etc, ... probably since the days when King Arthur lost his burning torch, wakakaka - that's what was meant by something-something K'ong-K'ong, wakakaka.


Mind you, observation of such traditions a la the Poms would have at the very least saved the taxpayers the cost of a new leather briefcase, wakakaka.

I trust the current taxpayers-owned briefcase is still with the Finance Ministry and not on 'permanent loan' to a lil' Napoleon, wakakaka, which will then require another purchase for a new budget announcement - maybe this time one from Bvlgari or Hermès or Bottega Veneta.

Hope the Auditor-General will make a point to check on this, wakakaka.
Bottega Veneta (crocodile skin)

aiyah, only US$30,000

My uncles, who were officers in the military and also the police, told me that whenever there was a new CO (commanding officer) in their battalion or station, or a new PMC (president of the mess committee) had taken over management of the officers' club, the officers would be instructed to re-do the mess, especially the bar - yes, in my uncles' days, officers' mess bars were standard features.

Of course with limited financial expenses coming from the officers' mess funds, contributed by the officers themselves, each re-do or attempted renovation was at best a limited or even superficial attempt.

When the British Armed Forces in Malaya/Malaysia went home, they left behind the facilities in excellent conditions, such as officers' and sergeants' mess (clubhouses), each with a good bar.


Many Malaysian officers felt that consolidating the already fine facilities left for them would have been a far more sensible and more effective 'renovation', but alas, many of those COs and PMCs obviously wanted something new which could be recognized as their 'personal' achievements, for their bosses to consider in their annual performance reports.

In more than many a case, the already excellent features of a bar left by the British military were unnecessarily destroyed in the do-over.

Anyway, the above discussion is moot since the officers' mess bars of our military don't have bars anymore but only machines dispensing cans of soft drinks, or what the Yanks call soda machines.

Officers' Mess with soda machine? Alamak, no class liao lah, wakakaka.

Officers' Mess bar, RAF High Wycombe

I think we can reasonably assume that in the general case, behind each vandalizing or destroying of traditions and traditional features of an institution in such frequent do-overs lies someone's personal 'interests'.

Yes, BTW what had happened to the previous Budget briefcase? Wakakaka, and like Tunku Abidin, we'll be looking at the Finance Minister's briefcase in the next budgetary presentation.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Final chapter for Anwar Ibrahim?

Malaysiakini - We won't hit the streets for you again, Anwar

aisehman, so cruel lah

A NGO, which is often seen as leaning towards Pakatan Rakyat, has called on Anwar Ibrahim to retire, saying that the people are "tired" of him.

In a hard-hitting statement, Lensa Anak Muda Malaysia (Lensa) coordinator Ekhsan Bukharee reminded the opposition leader that it is no longer the era of 1998 and 1999, which witnessed the birth of the reformasi movement.

I won't say a word as I'm biased, wakakaka. But what do you think?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ridhuan is ironically the ultimate ‘ultra kiasu’

My letter to Malaysiakini published today as follows, wakakaka.


7:14PM Oct 14, 2014
By K Temoc

Ridhuan is ironically the ultimate ‘ultra kiasu’


I refer to your news article ‘Ridhuan: How can pigs outnumber cows in M'sia?'

Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has complained that Malaysia has to import livestock such as cow, goats, sheep, etc but has such a surplus of pigs that the last is exported. He voiced his unhappiness at what he sees as an imbalance in our national husbandry.

Of course he ignores issues such as the remarkable National Feedlot Centre project, or local conditions for rearing certain types of livestock, market forces, and farming preference. He would not be unlike a durian-loving New Zealander asking why her country with a population of 4.5 million and over 70 million sheep does not have one single durian tree.

The truth is Dr Ridhuan Abdullah is at it again, politicking and pushing his standard fare of bangsa dan agama (Malay race and religion). Sometimes I wonder whether he does it on his own accord, perhaps to gain attention and relevance, or has been pushed forward by known forces to ‘attract and distract’.

And right on time in regards to my pondering above, he has challenged the new Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali on whether the latter would be willing to approve the RM100 million integrated pig farming project in the state.

We all know Dr Ridhuan Abdullah, his political proclivities and yes, his favourite term for those he dislikes or considers as political-social foes, namely, ‘ultra kiasu’. We also know he constantly reminds everyone he is a Malay, no doubt a Malaysian constitutional one but nonetheless a Malay. He informs readers of his column on this via his ‘kita Melayu’.

But there’s no denying he is an ethnic Chinese, one even with a Chinese surname Tee. I only raise this in order to remind Dr Ridhuan Abdullah that he ought to know what the Chinese (Hokkien) word ‘kiasu’ means. If he doesn’t then he ought not to brandish the word so liberally as he has been doing. Instead, he should take note that he ironically is the ultimate ‘ultra kiasu’ in his political-social polemics.

But Dr Ridhuan Abdullah is not the first Muslim in this country to raise the issue of pig farming in Malaysia. Back in 2004, a blogger by the nickname of Aisehman posted an intriguing article which raised some health questions related to the rearing of pigs in Malaysia.

He quoted international health officials (then in 2004) on an imminent pandemic - a possible hybrid strain of avian influenza and human flu virus, with Asia as its likely epicentre. According to him the pandemic may be even worse than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). He mentioned the World Health Organisation (WHO) raising the possibility that bird flu could mix with a virus carried by pigs, giving rise to another mutated and deadlier progeny.

He posed the query as to whether we Malaysians ought to think about a pre-emptive and massive culling exercise of every single pig in our country (then I asked, would this include wild pigs in our jungles?), and a total cessation of pig-farming activities, of course to prevent the feared pandemic.

He stated he was mindful of the adverse economic cost and cultural impact, but nonetheless he queried whether this might come about, and whether it would be worth the inevitable sacrifices?

I then replied that if we select pigs to purge completely from Malaysia, on the basis of a viral danger to health, then what should we do about the problem of Avian Flu? I reminded him that Avian Flu was then the imminent danger rather than pigs. I asked further whether we should also cull all types of fowls (and eggs), and ban Malaysians from indulging in their hobbies of keeping merbok, merpati and various other birds as pets?

Never seeing a satisfactory conclusion

The problem with the culling-elimination approach would be that we would never ever see a satisfactory conclusion, even if we ended up shooting every bird that dares to fly over peninsula Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah.

And I posed the question of mad cow disease (BSE) and the foot-and-mouth disease which affected hoofed animals like cows, sheep, goats, perhaps even camels.

Now why did the blogger not see the answer to our health concerns was not in removing any particular species completely, but rather those conditions that promoted the development and spread of a pandemic virus.

We could and can do this by developing and practicing good personal hygiene, quarantine control, management of healthy and clean animal farming, and public education. Australia, New Zealand and Denmark have these procedures and practices in place. The USA, Canada and UK dealt extremely well with their respective BSE problem, which for the last had been in the magnitude of a national disaster.

Their people and the Japanese and Europeans continue to enjoy pork, beef, lamb, fowls, etc without undue fears.

Alas, for him then and perhaps Dr Ridhuan Abdullah today, the pig, unfortunately for us Malaysians, is an animal that represents a very real divisive politico-religious-social factor, because to Muslims it’s religiously an unclean animal and thus haram [forbidden, not kosher], while to non-Muslims especially Chinese Malaysians, it’s the source of a delicious and popular meat.

But to non-Muslim Chinese Malaysians, the pig continues to be a significant part of so many aspects of their culture. For those who can afford them, roast pigs are used in cultural, religious and social ceremonies such as offerings to deities, pre-wedding exchange of gifts with new in-laws, funeral offerings, Cheng Beng festivals, pièce de résistance at birthday dinners, etc.

Then there is the uniquely world famous and by now (thanks to the Alvivi couple) politically-socially notorious Malaysian bah-kut-teh, a popular pork herb-soup dish that started its fame in Klang before sweeping through the country. Even foreigners in their own country ask for it when they shop at Asian grocery shops.

Not quite the same without pork

Indeed, many other Chinese dishes wouldn’t be quite the same without pork.

All the above Chinese delicacies are of course forbidden to Muslims, who viewed the meat as unclean stuff, and for some of them, also utterly repugnant. The pigs reared here in Malaysia for their meat have never been meant for Muslims but for local non Muslims and for export overseas. I was informed that prior to the Nipah virus problem, Malaysia was exporting RM2 billion worth of pork - yes, RM2 billion, not million.

Incidentally, one of the oft-heard complaints from non-Muslim has been the unequal treatment by Muslim-dominated city councils and municipalities. At some public centres where food are served, the authorities would prohibit food stalls from serving food containing pork, such as wan tan noodles which normally are accompanied by char siew (barbequed pork).

The complaint has not been so much the prohibition in sales of pork-related food per se, but more because, as non-Muslims would point out with much chagrin, beef-related food has not been similarly prohibited despite the meat being haram (forbidden) to Hindus and some sects of Buddhists (eg. of Pure Land Buddhism).

Once my friend, a very staunch Hindu, and I had beef served to us while we were attending a course run by a government department. I wasn't even asked whether I could take beef but it’s fortuitous that I didn’t and still don’t subscribe to my family’s religious belief which considers beef as haram.

My Hindu friend went ballistic not so much because the centre had served beef to him but because when he told the catering supervisor he was a Hindu and couldn’t eat beef, the manager responded insensitively, “I don’t see what's wrong with eating beef?”

Imagine what if the table has been turned around...? Would my friend be charged with sedition?

Of course most fair-minded non-Muslim Malaysians understand that it’d be only natural for Muslims to want pigs and its farming rid of from Malaysia. There are substantiated complaints of pigs’ excrement polluting rivers and other water sources. We recall what the Malacca government did to the pig farmers in that state some years back.

There is no doubt that pig farming had contributed to pollution though it's not the only cause - in fact there are worse, like certain industries. Unfortunately because of the religious-emotional implications the solution seems to be to ban pig rearing rather than enforced strict health and hygiene controls over pig farming activities.

Export item

The pig is reared successfully in many western countries, outstanding examples being Denmark and Australia, where piggeries are very well kept and maintained to the highest health and hygiene standards. Denmark has been doing so with the highest standard of hygiene for eons, making pig related products a multi-billion dollar export item.

Just to remind everyone, the pig and its pork were once Malaysia’s multi-billion ringgit export item, too. I wonder whether it still is today?

I think we should give credit where it’s due, that it’s wonderful Dr Ridhuan Abdullah said, “I do not insult pigs because pigs are Allah's creatures.” But alas, when racial and religious emotions step in, logic and consistency of arguments have to exit.

It’s a pity that a pair of pigs, and indeed birds, chickens, cows, rats, were allowed on board the ark of Noah (pbuh).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Char koay teow-ing?

TMI - Khairy can be next DPM if Najib steps down before GE14, says veteran journo

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has the potential to become the next deputy prime minister should Datuk Seri Najib Razak decide to step down before the 14th general election, a veteran journalist said today.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin must be positioned in an important spot in order to become the next deputy prime minister, said Datuk A. Kadir Jasin. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 13, 2014.In his latest blog posting, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said this could only happen if the prime minister post was held by his cousin Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also the defence minister.

“If it is fated that Najib has to step down before the next general elections and the current Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has no interest in the top post, then the PM post will go to Hishammuddin. In this situation, Khairy will have the potential to become his deputy,” he said.

We know that the erudite writer, Pak Kadir, is one of Dr Mahathir's henchmen. And for Dr M, there's no one he hates more than KJ, wakakaka.

Dr M hated KJ since AAB, KJ's father in law, became PM. I heard that during that time with AAB's ascendancy and Dr M's slight loss of political power, KJ sabo or frustrated one of Dr M's sons in a fairly lucrative business deal.

KJ's second sin in the eyes of Dr M, perhaps even a bigger one than his first sin, was during the last UMNO party election, when Hisham nearly lost to Mukhriz in a race for the last VP position. It was KJ and Sharizat who marshalled the Youth and Women's votes behind Hisham. We know that Hisham then had a very narrow escape.

No UMNO member can ever dream of becoming party president and thus PM, if he is not at least a party VP. To Dr M, KJ had screwed up his (Dr M's) plans for Mukhriz to ascend to the top of UMNO's echelon, to be one of the 3 VPs. Of course KJ has his own reason to ensure Hisham beat Mukhriz, wakakaka.

So what do I think of Pak Kadir's statement?

Now, why in the world would Dr M's staunch henchman promote Dr M's bête noire?

I suspect the aim is to tempt KJ into betraying and kowtim-ing Najib.

Will KJ fall prey to temptation?

I believe he's not that stupid, though one can't tell about a person's burning ambition?

But KJ and Mukhriz both are young and have time on their side, so I reckon with KJ being the smart bloke he is, and youth still on his side, he will ignore the bait from Dr M's camp.

The post title reflects the role of Pak Kadir, a char koay teow man for Dr M, wakakaka.

In life I have a friend who was a real street hawker selling char koay teow, but one not in the league of powerful and affluent people like UMNO leaders such as Dr M or Pak Kadir despite the latter's role a la goreng goreng, wakakaka.

Read of him in my post at KTemoc Kongsamkok, titled The 'rich' char koay teow boy.

No, Tan Ah Kow most certainly didn't grow up nor will he ever belong to the world of powerful UMNO people like Pak Kadir, notwithstanding their 'shared' char koay teow role, wakakaka.