In responding to Hindus complaining about the slaughter of cows at SK Puchong Jaya in Selangor during Aidiladha last week, he stated that while 'he agrees that schools are not appropriate venues for the Aidiladha cow sacrifice ritual, other religious acts in public places should also be similarly regulated.'
The 'other' religious act in public place that he brought out was obviously Thaipusam, because he said:
|Lord Murugan conveyed in chariot|
"Among these, roads are not places for religious processions such as carrying idols and smashing of coconuts to the point of inconveniencing road users or messing up a public space, such as being carried out by followers of certain religions. If you want to streamline (the regulations), then do it for all."
|notice Chinese among the devotees?|
Come on lah, Dr Asri, where's the comparison between slaughtering live animals like cattle and sometimes even camels accompanied by blood and gore and undoubtedly their terrified bawling and bellowing (death cries) at a school in the sight of its young pupils and traumatizing them, and the breaking of coconut fruits on roads which might have temporarily inconvenienced motorists.
Can't we have the animals slaughtered at a more appropriate location, say, in the compound of a mosque or surau?
Incidentally, Chinese Penangites have been among the most staunch supporters of the Thaipusam processions and the associated ritual of breaking coconuts for Lord Murugan's blessings.
Furthermore, the religious processions of Thaipusam and the associated ritual of breaking coconuts have always been known in advance by the police who would each year provide early advice to motorists, escort to the processions as well as control the traffic along the affected road(s).
|Chinese devotee of Lord Murugan with kavadi|
As for his claim that the ritual would mess up a public space, namely the roads, obviously (and strangely for a Penangite) he has not been aware that once the Thaipusam chariot carrying Lord Murugan had passed, the so-called mess, namely broken coconuts on the road, would be swiftly taken away by members of the public for their own use, like extracting santan (coconut milk) from the fruit, and even making use of the shells for fuel.
Dr Asri is respected for his fairness, and I am one of his fans, but in this case I don't agree with his comparison, which in reality is no comparison at all - because one ritual, if conducted at a school during the schooling term, would traumatize school kids with the bloody slaughter of live animals (ones which additionally are sacred to Hindus) while the other would merely break coconuts on a road, which would not be insensitive to other religions (unless you're a new Ayah Pin who worships coconuts, wakakaka).
My letter to Malaysiakini on subject but more refinedly written, wakakaka, and without any 'wakakaka', which calls for a wakakaka ;-), published on 25 Oct 2013, Blood versus coconut water