Sunday, September 25, 2016

Malaysian chooks & driving

Star Online - Dead – rooster that ran fowl of road law

GEORGE TOWN: A rooster’s “outing” on Penang Bridge came to an untimely end when a vehicle hit it, killing the chicken on the spot.

Motorists heading towards the island early yesterday were greeted by the sight of the feathered road user running aimlessly on the bridge.

The rooster was also spotted by PLUSRonda and Propel Projek Penyelenggaraan Lebuhraya Bhd (Propel) teams at the first kilometre of the bridge.

PLUS Malaysia Berhad strategic communications head Mohd Nizam Ismail said the rooster was seen on the right lane at about 7.30am.

“Concerned for the safety of road users, PLUSRonda and Propel personnel attempted to catch the rooster to prevent any untoward incident on the bridge,” he said when contacted yesterday.

It is believed the rescue operation lasted only for about five minutes.

“The rooster was killed when it was knocked down by a car,” Mohd Nizam added.

It is not known how the rooster ended up on the bridge. [...]

A clever cheeky headline by the reporter, one which my matey Dean Johns would be partial to, wakakaka.

The first question I want to raise is how fast were the traffic, that with even staff from PLUSRonda and Propel attempting to catch the rooster running around on the bridge, it was still hit by a vehicle?

I recall how motorists in Sing were urged to slow down at a certain stretch of beach-side road because an otter was known to running across that part of road frequently.

And in Oz I had witnessed kind hearted ladies slowing traffic down when geese and ducks with their little ones crossed roads to reach lakes or streams.

Let's all slow down a wee bit and be more patient, especially when there are uniformed people conducting some extraordinary jobs on the roads or bridges, whatever those jobs may be.

I'm never one to waste food or ingredients for food, like for example a recently killed chook, wakakaka.

But one thing is for sure, that Muslims would not have made use of the dead chook because it was not properly sembileh (slaughtered in accordance with Islamic rituals) as both the Muslims and orthodox Jews would only partake of meat from animals or fowls which have been sembileh in accordance with religious prescribed rites.

Once a learned Mat Salleh professor explained to me when I was still young-ish, a teen so to speak (wakakaka), that historically or anthropologically, and not theologically, Middle-Easterners like the Israelites roaming around in the desert or almost-desert regions would consume anything they laid their hands on, including carcasses of unknown creatures which died for quite a while, wakakaka.

Through their years of experience and probably from deaths through contaminated food, the tribal elders began to understand rudimentary basics on health being associated with, among other factors, freshly killed food, hence sembileh came into practised.

On top of that, certain types of food such as shellfish (easily turned bad by heat), mixing meat with milk, etc, are forbidden or non-kosher (haram). Their observations and lessons learnt were turned into part of the Mosaic Laws called kashrut which regulates dietary observance of the faithful.

I have already posted Why Orthodox Jews Don't Eat Pork! In that post I quoted Stewart Lee Allen, author of an interesting book titled In the Devil’s Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food in which he wrote:

Historians fancy the notion that Jewish pig phobia stems from their stint as slaves in Egypt during the time when the cult of the god Seth held pigs to be exalted beasts.

Seth, God of Chaos

This may also explain the curious reports that certain Jewish cults used to have secret pork feasts once a year. According to scholar Frederick Simoons, when Seth was overthrown, his beloved spareribs became taboo for Egyptians, save for a yearly feast held at the full moon, a habit some Jews might have picked up."

"Why the full moon? Because the original sacred animal was not the pig, but the similar-looking hippo, which according to ancient Egyptian belief, lives on the Moon. Hippos live on the Moon? Well, yes; the idea is that while some Pharaoh was meditating on the full moon reflected on the Nile, a hippo emerged from the reflection ..."

Additionally, according to Professor Baruch Halpern, who holds the Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies, in his book David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King, ...

... he stated in the preface that the ancient Hebrews had other gods beside Yahweh, including his consort Ashtoret, though no deeply religious Jew or Christian is likely to accept Halpern's revelation.

Thus, we shouldn't be surprised about the possibility of the ancient Jews worshiping many gods including and particularly Egyptian ones like Seth, and why orthodox Jews don't eat pork.

As for Chinese, so long as the chook has been freshly killed or slaughtered, it's okay for them. Mind, there are then some Chinese who won't eat an animal killed in an accident such as by a car or truck as they believe there would be bad or unhappy blood hanging over the carcass - bad feng shui, so to speak.

I'm not sure about Indian practices and dietary observances.

However the point I have finally come to is that if one accidentally kills a chook on a road while driving, say from Bagan Serai to Alor Setar (wakakaka, in my good old days), and passing through a kampong especially a Malay one though it's not necessarily safer with a Chinese or Indian kampong, the advice is not to stop as the villagers won't take kindly to one killing their fowl, wakakaka.

One will encounter humongous problems extricating oneself from the ensuing mess with the villagers, that is, if one is lucky enough not to be beaten up by the locals in the first place. Compensation of any chook killed, regardless of whether you are right or wrong, may cost one as much as RM300 (in my days), wakakaka.

That's village vigilante justice.


  1. Penang Bridge speed limit is 80 km/h. As you know not all drivers stick to it.

    It is not easy to catch a rooster. That officer in the photo is taking an enormous risk.

    It is also not easy for drivers to spot a rooster from far enough distance to slow down safely. Faced with either knocking the rooster or swerving/emergency braking which will result in a pile-up, what will the driver do? This is not some quaint village road with animal crossing signs but a 6-lane highway type of road. Usually traffic is continuous and packed on all 3 lanes.

    One of the much feared thing to happen to a car driver is to have a tyre puncture because to change a wheel is one of the most dangerous thing to do on the bridge.

  2. The Singapore Otter incident occurred along the East Coast Park Service Road. While praiseworthy, it is hardly a comparable situation to the Penang Bridge , which handles 20,000 vehicles per day.
    The Penang Bridge is a Very high traffic volume highway. The best safety advice on such roads is , stay within the speed limit, and drive as fast as it is safe to do so, given traffic conditions.

    In UK, along designated stretches of motorway, you can be fined if you drive slower than 30 km/h below the speed limit without good reason. That is because you then become a traffic obstruction, and hence a traffic hazard in itself.

  3. hmmm, I wonder what staff from PLUSRonda and Propel were attempting to do on that bridge then?