|Joseph P Kennedy|
Joseph P Kennedy, the father of US President John F Kennedy, has sometimes been credited with saying "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going".
It means when the situation (or the 1st 'going', thus a noun) becomes very difficult or challenging (1st 'tough', thus an adjective), those who are resilient or strong (the 2nd 'tough', thus a noun) gets on with the task (the 2nd 'going', thus a verb).
Excuse this, my unnecessary explanation of the above simple sentence which plays on the words 'tough' and 'going' - you see, I have always harboured secret dreams of being an exceptional English language teacher modelling myself after sweet sexy Ms Tan, my teacher at MBS Penang, not that I want to be seen as sweet and sexy, wakakaka.
Thus the saying means that a strong and resilient person won't buckle to any difficulty but will in fact rise to meet the difficult challenge.
However, there is a second (modern) interpretation which is less noble sounding, typical of modern day mentality/spirit. It can also mean some people who act tough and/or proud will abandon a task/challenge when it becomes difficult because they don't want to be proven they aren't that tough as they want to appear to be.
Anyway, the 'going' for poor Nurul Izzah is now certainly getting 'tough' because the BN and pro BN mullahs and even some non-BN but highly conservative mullahs are accusing her of advocating apostasy for Muslims.
Mashita Ibrahim, a deputy minister in the PM's Department (meaning this bloke, of course with a datukship, has no real portfolio but is a leech hanging around the PM's Office just to get a deputy ministerial title and pay) has threatened legal action, presumably of the Islamic type, against Nurul Izzah.
Nurul is therefore guilty until proven otherwise.
|photo from The Malaysian Insider|
Now, just a reminder (again you may think this is unnecessary but I have blogger's privilege wakakaka), Nurul is the daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, a politician who hasn't impressed me (still doesn't) with his content, brand and style of politics. But just because I don't like Anwar doesn't mean I have to dislike Nurul. In fact I like her for her decent and reasonably innocent approach to politics.
Yup, I am not that sort of person who believes in the biblical saying that the sins of the father will be visited upon their children for several generations, a la …
Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me – Deuteronomy 5:9
I will even repay into their bosom, both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together – Isaiah 65:6-7
… which I opine is utter nonsense on the basis of logic, commonsense and secular justice, apart from the fact I'm an atheist wakakaka.
Thus I'm annoyed, in fact very annoyed, that the BN and those ultra conservative mullahs are persecuting Nurul beyond the bounds of acceptable civilised and religious requirements. If she has committed a mistake, okay, chew her up but cease the daily barraging - don't misuse, abuse and exploit a religious point for personal (BN) political gains by escalating the issue with dire threats everyday. That's exploiting the religion of Islam.
I mentioned Nurul as the daughter of Anwar because I suspect the relentless BN persecutions against her has many objectives, one aimed at Anwar as well (not that I care two hoots he gets a bit of the BN political targeting) but also at PKR as a party, Pakatan as a coalition, and I suspect, Nurul's own future/potential as an important political leader on the side opposite to BN.
Yes, she's getting a heavy barrage of flak not unlike the series of fabricated accusations against Lim Guan Eng, except in her case, she is relatively young and vulnerable and the issue involved is a sensitive one in Malaysia, an accusation of a Muslim advocating apostasy in predominantly Muslim Malaysia.
But then I suppose, there is another saying, if one can't stand the heat in the kitchen one should get out.
She is no doubt currently under enormous pressure as she has solicited advice from Islamic scholar Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, the former Perlis Mufti, to help her explain to the public what she had stated. Dr Asri has supported what she said as being correct and not what the BN has been accusing her of.
Just as an observation of the pressure Nurul is now being subjected to, let's listen to the words of another sweetie, the very person who asked her that 'fatal' question, Siti Kasim, a member of the Bar Council human rights committee and Orang Asli righst advocate.
Siti Kasim has now emerged in the midst of the current brouhaha to say that she is disappointed with Nurul for backing away from her statement that freedom of religion was a right for all including the Malay-Muslims. She lamented that Nurul has failed to stand firm on her remark.
Siti Kasim said: “I believe Nurul was just trying to impress the people. She didn’t think of the consequences. There’s nothing wrong about it [freedom of religion], she is saying the truth. I expected a hoo-ha after that. But as a politician, you just need to stick to the truth."
"In the following days she ‘retracted’ her remark, and said she did not support apostasy. But indirectly when you say you support freedom of religion, and if Malay wants to get out from Islam, that’s apostasy.”
Hmmm, maybe Nurul indeed wanted to impress her audience but alamak, Siti, cut her some slack lah as Nurul is still young and really, a babe in the political woods. Besides, to a Muslim, apostasy is an extremely serious issue, where the punishment could well be death (though of course the authorities won't go to that extent in Malaysia).
Now, could it be from her chiding of Nurul for backing off, that Siti herself wants acceptance of the doctrine that all Malaysians including Malay-Muslims enjoy freedom of religion?
Anyway, Siti Kasim dismissed Nurul's critics as conservatives who somehow believe their version of the religion is the only correct one, and that includes former PM, Dr Mahathir - will come to him shortly wakakaka..
However, Siti is somewhat like me wakakaka, less impressed with the Manmanlai man, stating she had once asked him the same question, and hardly surprising, failed to get a direct response from Asia's Renaissance Man, wakakaka.
Siti Kasim must have sneered when she revealed: “He was going around the bush and didn't answer directly. We want politicians to be straight forward.”
Aiyah, darleeeng, that's what I term as tap dancing, which Anwar does very well. I hope Nurul Izzah doesn't inherit that characteristic.
So, given Siti Kasim's revelation of Nurul backing down from her initial statement, which interpretation of the saying 'When the going gets tough, the tough gets going' applies to Nurul Izzah.
Would it be 'a strong and resilient person won't buckle to any difficulty but will in fact rise to meet the difficult challenge' or 'a person who acts tough but would abandon a challenge when it becomes difficult because they don't want to be proven they aren't that tough as they want to appear to be'?
I leave that to your assessment, for you to evaluate after considering all relevant factors affecting Nurul.
Now we come to our dear Dr Mahathir. But before that, I might bring in the father-daughter continuum as I did for Anwar Ibrahim and Nurul Izzah.
Apart from Marina Mahathir being a good matey, I have always admired her for her leadership and continuing advocacy for our HIV-AIDS support movement, gender equality, human rights, support for Bersih, etc.
I not only admire Marina but like her very much. She is of course the daughter of Dr Mahathir but like the situation for Anwar-Nurul, it doesn't mean I like or have to like Dr Mahathir. In fact I now want to criticize Dr Mahathir for what he said of Nurul's statement that there should be no compulsion in religion for Malaysians.
In The Malaysian Insider's news article Dr M joins fray against Nurul Izzah, says Muslims don’t quit Islam he stated “We are Muslims. We do not change our religion. Others … their beliefs perhaps permit them to convert. We should not be too taken by western thoughts.”
Okay, up to that stage, fair enough.
But he escalated into preposterousness when he added: "If we're free to do this and that in the end we start to produce films that ridicule other religions and then we fight among us", referring, I suppose, to the recent anti-Islam film by Sam Bacile also known as Nakoula Basseley (or allegedly, the man behind it all, Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Centre) - for more about that anti-Islam film, read my earlier post Charlie Hebdo - further Western hypocrisy.
|Pastor Terry Jones|
Dr Mahathir has drawn a preposterously long bow in associating Nurul's remarks about non-compulsion in religion to producing films that ridicule religions. He might have want to make the kitchen extremely hot for Nurul and PKR-Pakatan but really there's no need to throw the kitchen sink at her.
But it's a striking example of BN's intent to make hay out of Nurul's faux pas, but alas, that's something Nurul has to live with.