Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The fart-ology of it all

Scene 1:

A politician farted loudly while making a pre-election campaign speech. Unabashed, he smiled and even giggled, and the news media subsequently reported his audience roared with laughter.

He was said to have quipped: "I had a hearty breakfast, a blessing of Allah swt who allowed me to be born in this wonderful country of plenty. But I must tell my dearest wife to cut down on the beans."

Again, the news reported the reaction of the crowd as favourable, with the applause deafening.

Scene 2:

A politician farted loudly while making a pre-election campaign speech. Embarrassed, he smiled and even giggled, and the news media subsequently reported his audience roared with disgust.

He was said to have quipped: "I had a hearty breakfast, a blessing of Allah swt who allowed me to have such a wonderful wife who prepared the great meal for me, but  I must tell my dearest one to cut down on the beans."

Again, the news reported the reaction of the crowd was of total disgust, with the booing deafening.

Yes, of course they were from opposite side of the fence, and the news media reporting on the two incidents was known to be highly partisan. Irrespective of the actual reaction of each crowd, the one-sided and highly biased reporting was already determined, to boost the picture of the former and demonize the latter. It's politics at its dirtiest.

Last year, DAP ADUN M Manoharan called for a redesign of the Malaysian flag because it looks too much like the flag of the USA. In fact, Manoharan was very careful in his proposal not to undo the crucial core of our flag, stating “The jalur (stripes) need to be changed. The red and white is causing a lot of confusion. I think the star, crescent and royal yellow should be maintained.” 

Despite his harmless (in fact constructive) proposal, low brow Muhyiddin Yassin jumped on him and condemned the ADUN for showing disrespect to (what Muhyiddin termed as) our ‘national heritage’.

He indicated that Manoharan’s proposal was indicative of a likelihood that Pakatan would even amend the Constitution, of course without revealing to his target audience that the UMNO-led government had already amended the Constitution more than 200 times, a Boleh-Land world record yet to be surpassed.

And what was Muhyiddin's bull about ‘national heritage’ when any commonsense understanding would tell us that a national flag, while a symbol of national identity, pride and belonging, is not exempt from changes, as per our national anthem having had its tempo changed.

Canada has made one of the most improved changes to national flags. The striking red maple leaf on its flag shows indisputably its Canadian identity – see below and understand how the maple leaf design stands out remarkably and uniquely as Canadian, making the revised Canadian flag renowned as one of the best flag designs – a design which came about through deliberate change.

And like Canada, it’s only a matter of time before Australia and New Zealand will change theirs as well.

Australian flag

one of proposed new Aus flags showing only the Southern Cross (stars), minus the British Union Jack in the canton

Spain on the other hand has switched from and back to its original royal flag, abandoning its Republican motif.

Estonia is now preparing to change its flag, which I suspect is a political move to be more identified (politically, economically, socially?) with its neighbouring Scandinavian countries.

But it was Malaysian politics at its dirtiest when a DPM saw fit to exploit an innocuous and quite constructive proposal from a citizen, all for grubby political gain. But then that's Muhyiddin who excels in Machiavellian triviality - nonetheless like all political pygmies, he deserved "thunderous applause" for his nonsensical brand of politicking, wakakaka.

But it should have been a salutary lesson for Manoharan and other Pakatan pollies to be more careful with what they say publicly (and for Penang DCM Mansor Othman, even privately, wakakaka) in that a desperate BN will stoop down into the gutters to scrounge for any material to add sh*t to it before hurling the lot at Pakatan. And that's because they don't have the teflon-coated backsides of UMNO (or pro UMNO) people like Ibrahim Ali, Utusan Malaysia and pro UMNO bloggers, ...

... or for that matter, those UMNO MPs who committed lèse majesté with teflon-coated impunity on 10 December 1992 in describing the rulers as known robbers, adulterers, drunkards and kaki pukul.

Compare that vile vicious venomous comment of gi-normous lèse majesté implications with the sound advice that poor Nizar Jamaluddin gave to HRH Johor, namely, that half a million ringgit (regardless of who owns it) would be better spent on the people's welfare than on a car licence plate, which on top of everything, has nothing to show a relationship with Johor State or even royalty, or ...

... that by poor Karpal Singh who is now facing sedition trial for quoting a right, ironically made available by Dr Mahathir's constitutional amendment in 1993.

What's good for the goose is, unfortunately in Malaysia, certainly not for the gander.

So today we see Nurul Izzah caught offside by her very innocent naive statement about freedom to follow a religion, undoubtedly addressed more to non-Muslims more than anyone. But regardless of the exact words she had said or her intended target audience, it's a wonderful 'heaven-sent-come' opportunity for UMNO to excoriate her, and accuse her of apostasy.

And like a Bulldog holding on to a piece of bone in its mouth, UMNO won't let go (at least for a while).

I'm afraid she's on her own because daddy has been remarkably silent on her naive slip-up. But she'll survive.

photo from the malaysian insider

But what is apostasy? Wikipedia has this to say:

The Qu'ran itself does not prescribe any earthly punishment for apostasy; Islamic scholarship differs on its punishment, ranging from execution – based on an interpretation of certain hadiths – to no punishment at all as long as they do not work against the Muslim society or nation.

The majority of Muslim scholars hold to the traditional view that apostasy is punishable by death or imprisonment until repentance, at least for adult men of sound mind.

Several contemporary Muslim scholars, including influential Islamic reformers have rejected this, arguing for religious freedom instead.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has this to say:

Freedom of conscience is one of the fundamental rights of humans enshrined in the Qur'an; it is therefore, absurd for anyone to suggest that Islam allows putting people to death just because they convert to another religion.

Even a casual reader of the Qur'an will not fail to be impressed by its emphasis on the freedom of conscience as a cornerstone of its moral structure. To cite a few verses as follows:

[There shall be no compulsion in religion. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing] ( Al-Baqarah 2:256)

[If it had been your Lord's will, all who are in the earth would have believed. Will you, then, force the people to become believers?] (Yunus 10:99)

[And if they surrender themselves unto Him (i.e. God), they are on the right path; but if they turn away – behold, thy duty (O Muhammad,) is no more than to deliver the message: for God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His creatures.] (Aal `Imran 3:20)

[Hence, pay heed unto God, and pay heed unto the Messenger, and be ever on your guard [against evil]; and if you turn away, then know that Our Messenger's only duty is a clear delivery of the message [entrusted to him].] (Al-Ma'idah 5:92)

[But if they turn away [from thee, O Prophet, know that] We have not sent thee to be their keeper: thou art not bound to do more than deliver the message [entrusted to thee] .] (Ash-Shura 42:48)

Wikipedia continues:

According to Islamic law, apostasy is identified by a list of actions such as conversion to another religion, denying the existence of God, rejecting the prophets, mocking God or the prophets, idol worship, rejecting the sharia, or permitting behaviour that is forbidden by the sharia, such as adultery or the eating of forbidden foods or drinking of alcoholic beverages.

Gasp ... so adultery and yamseng-ing are also considered as acts of apostasy.

And does 'eating of forbidden foods' include indulging in corruption (makan suap) and lies?

So, perhaps those who wish to cast stones at Nurul should make sure they are without sins in the first place. Mind you, it's unlikely they'll heed my advice.

Related: The Malaysian Insider's Ex-Perlis mufti backs Nurul Izzah, says ‘no compulsion in Islam’


  1. Nurul Izzah will be gone from Lembah Pantai come GE13.
    A one-term wonder...

  2. Nurul will grow in strength. It shall be proven when she gets re-elected in Lembah Pantai in GE13.

  3. Nurul is one brave politician who in her young years said what many of more senior politicans believe but not brave enough to say it . Maybe a bit naive considering the gutter politics practiced by BN but for many of us reveals an intelligent lady who thinks for herself . Definitely future PM material . In fact even now , she would do better than the current one!

  4. Manoharan - when he opens his mouth - is a negative asset for DAP.
    DAP should put him out to pasture for GE13 - or the voters will.