Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, ethnic cleansing, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, muslim, plaigarism, ridhuan, ridhuan tee, tee, teresa kok, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
I’ve been secretly smiling to myself almost everyday the past week. It is because I’ve been very happy with certain stories I’ve been reading in the media lately. The stories I’ve been reading has given me joy because they are about how Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has been accused of lecturing about ethnic cleansing to his students.
And even before that, a few months ago, he was accused of plagiarism in his academic writings and research papers. Happy happy joy joy! It’s no secret (especially to my regular readers) that I’ve made it one of my life’s missions to counter and destroy his every single racist and bigoted thought.
And when issue of his credibility and professionalism comes into question, I will obviously jump on the opportunity to highlight it. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, bigot, bigotry, BN, fat bidin, hijab, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, racism, racist, singapore, tudung, zan azlee
What’s the difference between Malaysia and Singapore? That’s the age old question ever since the island state decided to opt out from being a part of Malaysia. Actually, it isn’t hard to see that there are many obvious differences between the two countries and among the main ones is food.
I have to admit that the food in Malaysia, especially the street hawker kind, is just far superior from what you can find in Cheen Chia Poh. We make better lontong, better mee goreng, better nasi beriyani, better murtabak, better sup tulang, better prawn mee, better bak kut teh and even better Singapore fried meehoon.
Then there is the law that we have to abide to in Singapore, which are almost borderline mental asylum-style rules and regulations. No eating chewing gum! No crossing the street! No watching TV! No talking! No breathing! No winking! No no no no no no!!
But one thing that they are encouraging is sex! Everyone should have sex and procreate whether you are a man, woman, married or single. Play your role in saving the population! Then, of course, there is the issue about media control. If we Malaysians think that we have it bad with our media censorship and licensing, then we haven’t seen anything yet.
However, these are all differences that we can see on the surface. Look a little bit deeper and we might discover that we all aren’t that different anyway. Recently, the issue regarding Singapore’s banning of the tudung (hijab) by women working in certain governmental organisations and in school came in to the limelight.
Many Singaporeans are against this saying this it is racist and discriminatory. There is even a Facebook movement started called ‘Singapore Hijab Movement’. However, the island’s government says that since Singapore is a multiracial society, the ban is required to maintain the country’s overall social harmony. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, chinese, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, racist, ridhuan, ridhuan tee, telur, umno, zan azlee
I know Ridhuan Tee wasn’t aiming his latest column in Sinar Harian entitled ‘Mana telur kita?’ specifically at me. But my column today is aimed right at him.
Sometimes I feel quite stupid arguing with what this Chinese man says since what he says is always quite stupid. But I can’t help it. It’s just incredibly fun! In Tee’s latest column, he highlights the fact that no political leaders seem to have the balls to stand up against the infidels and their demands.
First up, he says that how dare the Hindus question the right of Muslims to want to slaughter cows in a public school. Hey pang yau (in case Tee has forgotten his mother tongue, ‘pang yau’ mean ‘friend’)! It’s okay for them to question it.
And it’s also okay for Muslims to concede and do the slaughtering somewhere else. It’s call respecting other religions. Islam says that’s the way mah! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, christian, christianity, fat bidin, god, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muhammad, muslim, quran, The Malaysian Insider, tuhan, zan azlee
Call me murtad (apostate), I don’t care. Call me syirik (polytheist), I don’t care. Heavy accusations in Islam, these two. I hope the accusers have the necessary proof, evidence and criteria to do so. I, an official Muslim, hereby publicly declare that I have no problems with other religions aside from Islam using the word Allah to refer to God.
Most of the times when I write my column, it is to address a readership that is as wide and as general as possible without targeting too specific a group. But this week, I am writing to Muslims in particular (err, but if you are an infidel, you can still continue reading!), and especially Malay Muslims.
As Muslims, we are obligated to believe in the existence of the prophets and this includes the prophet Jesus, who brought to the world Christianity, and even Moses who brought Judaism. As a Muslim, we are also obligated to believe in the existence of the holy books and this includes the Bible which taught Christianity and the Torah which taught Judaism.
And, when we believe in all this, we also have to believe that all Abrahamic religions come from one God, and in Arabic (the main language of Islam’s Quran) the word is Allah. So, when an argument is made that Christianity and Islam are two different religions, no one can deny it. It’s true. These are two different religions.
But when it comes to God, both these different religions refer to the same God. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (oh crap, did I just objectify God as a rose?). [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, christian, fat bidin, god, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, umno, zan azlee
Malaysia is a multicultural, multiracial and multireligious country, according to the government of Malaysia. And, Malaysia is also supposed to be harmonious, peaceful and tolerant, according to the government of Malaysia.
There are a lot of initiatives and efforts done to ensure that Malaysia continues to be a multicultural, multiracial, multireligious and harmonious country. And having a common national language is just such contributor to encouraging and promoting harmony and a self of belonging.
In Malaysia, the obvious language that is used to pull people together is Bahasa Malaysia. It is taught in schools and is also the official government medium of communication. Basically, almost every single Malaysian can speak the Malay language in one form or another and this is the common denominator for us all.
I like that we have something that is inclusive and makes all Malaysians similar. By having a common language, we all have something to call our own. A language that has been spoken since the 7th century (most likely even before that) and was the business language of the Southeas Asian region has deep history.
Anyone from around the world had to master the Malay language if they wanted to be able to trade and do business successfully. And it was a welcome to have Arab merchants, Chinese diplomats, European explorers and African traders learning the language when they came to our land.
The 17th century Dutch scholar, Francois Valentijn, even wrote that the Malay language was the lingua franca of the eastern region, much like French and Latin is in Europe. He added that it was a language that was even spoken and understood in the lands as far as Persia to the west and the Philippines to the east.
People around the world actually embraced the language. How cool is that? So it should be no problem for Bahasa Malaysia to be embraced within Malaysia itself. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: Astro Awani, film festival, internet, journalism, lecture, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, beff, beff2013, borneo eco film fest, documentary, environment, fat bidin, film, islam, journalism, kota kinabalum terralingua, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, sabah, solo journalism, zan azlee
The movement and collection of heat and carbon dioxide caused by pollution and global warming shows a worrying trend for countries near the equator. Satellite images show that it is heading towards the equator where most of the world’s forests are, and that includes Malaysia, and more specifically Sabah and Sarawak.
The reason why the forest areas are the places heat and carbon dioxide gathers is because only the forests have the natural ability to actually treat the problem. And what is more interesting, studies have shown that the areas where most of the world’s forests are, are also places that have the most numbers of languages spoken.
This study was made known to me yesterday, at the start of the 2013 Borneo Eco Film Festival in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, by speaker and festival organizer, Agnes Agama. I’m convinced the study, conducted by Terralingua.Org, is true seeing that the Amazon has so many different tribes and ethnicities and different languages.
And I am even more convinced when I see Sarawak and, more specifically, Sabah where there are also many different ethnicities and languages. It also seems totally logical without an ounce of coincidence that the responsibility of saving the earth falls on areas that have such wide biocultural diversity.
If you have ever been to Sabah, then you would know that the relationship amongst people of different races and religions is different than in Malaya. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, hindu, indian, islam, j anu, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, merdeka, mosque, muslim, new media, tanda putera, zan azlee
It’s that time of the year again when all of the media gears their content towards that one national theme – Merdeka Day. How cliched, but somehow necessary. And so I find myself obligated to write somethhing alng the lines of the Merdeka theme as well. But I’ll try to keep things as current and as relevant as possible.
What does merdeka really mean, anyway? It’s suppose to mean independence or freedom. And an independence country means a country that is sovereign. An independent country is also one that is not controlled by anyone and is free to do as it pleases depending on what is right or wrong. It is the freedom to make a choice.
So what does it mean when in an independent country where there is suppose to be freedom of choice, big brother makes that choice for the people? It means that there really is no independence.
Recently, the Penang state government decided that they would disallow the screening of the controversial film about the May 13th 1969 riots, Tanda Putera, in the state. Okay, fine! Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng clarifies by saying that they are just issuing a cautionary advisory against watching the film. Whatever lah. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, architect, architecture, barisan nasional, BN, buddhist, chinese, christian, fat bidin, hindu, indian, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, masjid, masjid negara, media, merdeka, mosque, muslim, new media, zan azlee
Malaysia has gone to the dogs. But that would be such a negative statement for a column that has the intentions of commerating this year’s Merdeka Day. So I’m going to try my best to end it in a positive note. First of all, we can agree that racial issues have become a trend in Malaysia. Every racial group has a problem with every other racial group.
Polarisation among the people seem to be at it’s highest peak. This is happening in schools, universities, the private working sector, and of course, the public sector. Religious conflict, although thankfully not violent, is also on the rise and taking centre stage in our media. So Malaysia is truly going to the dogs.
Now let me slightly digress to see if I can further make the point that I am trying to make. Every Malaysian is familiar with the National Mosque, or Masjid Negara, in Kuala Lumpur. Conceptualised a month before Merdeka, completed and opened in 1965, it is a symbol of how Malaysia was, and how Malaysia should be now and forever.
Designed and built by a Brit and two Malaysians (Howard Ashley, Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim), that in itself would already be unheard of now. What?!? They let a non-Muslim design a mosque?!? Astarghfirullah! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, alvivi, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, racism, racist, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
It seems that one of the big discussions amongst Malaysians at the moment is if we are actually getting too sensitive. This is because of the “offence” that we have been taking over all kinds of issues.
First of all, there was the Alvivi case where this idiotic Chinese couple took a picture of themselves eating bak kut teh which they spread online and offended the Malays in the country.
After that, an owner of a private resort allowed a group of Buddhists to meditate in a room which was also allocated as a surau. And this offended the Malays in the country.
At a first glance, I can see the reason why many people are starting to think that Malaysians are actually getting too sensitive for their own good.
But at a second glance, I think I’m beginning to see a trend here. Can you see it? It seems like those who constantly get offended happen to be Malays. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, blasphemy, BN, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muhammad. prophet, muslim, new media, quran, zan azlee
So I’ve been threatened and warned to watch my back because I tend to question issues regarding Islam. And guess who are the ones threatening me? My fellow Muslims, of course! Apparently, only those with immense religious knowledge and high paper qualifications are allowed to delve deeper into the religion, and the rest of us should just shut up and listen.
I think I shall choose not to listen to these people because I strongly believe that they are wrong. Islam is pretty cool actually, and I don’t believe that it would preach such a thing. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, air nira, alcohol, allah, arak, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, halal, haram, islam, jakim, journalism, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, perkasa, tapai, The Malaysian Insider, umno, zan azlee
First and foremost, I would like to wish you assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and a blessed Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. I would like to apologise for writing this letter during the festive season when most of you would be on leave with your families.
However, I strongly believe that the reason that I am writing is justified and commands your immediate attention. If nothing is done, I am fearful that the faith and aqidah of many Malay Muslims in Malaysia may be at risk.
On the second last day of Ramadhan, my family and I decided to head out and enjoy iftar (I loathe using the term ‘buka puasa’ it is so un-Islamic!) together at a very prominent hotel in Shah Alam, Selangor. The hotel is called Concorde.
We were very impressed with the buffet spread that was on display in the hotel’s coffee house and felt that the extremely expensive price was justified. So, in other words, we were happy to have good food and good company that evening.
However, as I was walking around the different food islands in the centre of the coffee house, I came to the dessert island. And what I saw horrified me to my wits end! I could not believe my eyes! There in open display was a plate full of tapai!
Now correct me if I’m wrong. JAKIM has issued a statement declaring that for any dish or drink to be considered halal, it needs to have less than 0.01% alcohol content. This practically means that there has to be zero alcohol content.
Tapai, as we all know, is a traditional Malay kuih that is prepared by fermenting pulut or ubi kayu. But, as we all also know, when you ferment food stuff, it turns into alcohol. Yes! I said alcohol! Haram jaddah! [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, aidilfitri, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, chinese, cina, fat bidin, hari raya, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, muslim, race, racist, religion
“Hoi! Berdosa lah kalau kau sambut Tahun Baru Cina!”
“Ha’ah! Nanti masuk Neraka!”
“Eiii!! Duit ang pow to haram tau!”
“Kau ni kafir lah!”
These are some of the responses I received from my Malay classmates when I was in primary school back in Johor Bahru a gazillion years ago. I was confused. I had grown up celebrating Chinese New Year every year with my family. I enjoyed collecting ang pows and also playing fireworks.
And the food! Oh my god! The food during the new year was amazing! The kuih kapit Cina container would be under my armpit the whole day. On the morning of the first day, my Aunty Poh Poh Swee Lan would make the best fatt choy in the world (it’s a vegetarian dish… before you all start calling JAKIM on me!)!
Chinese New Year in my family is a pretty unique affair. At least four different languages would be spoken at any one time and the colour of our skin… well, who cares! These are people dear to my heart and celebrating with them is something I treasure. And it made me totally confused when these kids would say such things to me.
I’m glad I wasn’t offended. If it’s one thing I learned early in life is to feel pity for those who are more ignorant than me, rather than to feel anger. What can we do if they have pea-sized brains, right?
This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri as well. I would wake up early and follow my father and my two brothers to the mosque on the first day. And when we got home, a huge spread consisting of Laksa Johor, lontong and rendang (of which my Poh Poh Swee Poh was the goddess creator!) would be waiting on the dining table for us. Heaven after a month of fasting!
And then all the relatives would start arriving at our house. It would begin as a trickle at first, but would end in a huge tsunami wave! And the atmosphere would be exactly the same as Chinese New Year. At least four different languages would be spoken at any one time and the colour of our skin… well, who cares!
In my birth certificate, I am stated as being a Malay. But sometimes, I wonder how that conclusion could have been made since I have Chinese blood. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, islam, journalism, Keadilan, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, The Malaysian Insider, umno, zan azlee
In just a matter of approximately a month, we Malaysians have been flooded with all kinds of propaganda that seems to be threatening our racial harmony. First, there was the stupid, moronic, idiotic and imbecilic couple Alvivi and their Bak Kut Teh spirited Ramadhan wish to all Malaysians.
Now, we have this harmless video of a Muslim woman who made a video (three years ago, mind you) with herself and her dogs wishing people Selamat Hari Raya.
Now for this third one, it gets a little bit tricky. Many say its insulting to Islam. I, however, do not think so since there is nothing stated anyway in the religious books that say dogs are un-Islamic (but I’m a dog-lover, so sue me).
I could not care less about whether Islam is being insulted, if there is a big racist plot to bring down all the non-Malays in the country, or if the fork ran away with the spoon. What bothers me is the fact that on Facebook timeline (yes, the world has come down to this – when an entire societal situation can be extrapolated from FB!), things are not rosy.
My timeline has been divided into two distinct sides – those who are on one side, and those who are on the other. And it pains me to see this happening. With all these stories coming out in the media, there has never been a larger rift in Malaysia than I can ever remember in my entire 35 years of being alive.
I cannot help but wonder if all these are just part of an elaborate media strategy with an aim to create dischord and disharmony amongst Malaysian… for selfish reasons. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, anjing, barisan nasional, BN, chetz, dog, fat bidin, haram, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, najis, new media, news, samak, togom, zan azlee
About seven years ago, I was elevated to the position of ‘ustaz’ by members of the Malaysian public. All because of a short film I had made at that time called ‘Samak’ (which was invited to a few film festivals! Wahh!)
It was a simple documentary about dogs and how it is okay for Muslims to keep them as pets. But what made it so appealing to people, I think, was the explanation on ‘samak’.
So what is ‘samak’? It’s just the method of cleansing for a Muslim after he or she has touched a wet dog. And it’s only when the dog is wet. When it’s dry, it’s totally clean.
I literally got phone calls from people I didn’t know calling me ‘ustaz’ and asking me for advice on how to samak themselves, and even their homes (paranoia?).
I am a Muslim and a dog lover. And I have also had the pleasure of caring for two pet dogs in my lifetime so far – a Rottweiler named Martian and a Cavalier King Charles named Keropok.
Now, in response to all the hoo-haa about dogs and Hari Raya, I feel totally at ease and not the least bit insulted by the video of Chetz Togom and her dogs. [Click to read the full article and to view the short film at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, eat, fasting, fat bidin, food, islam, journalism, makan, malay, malaysia, puasa, ramadan, ramadhan, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
It gave me the shock of my life when I found out about it. It was posted all over the Internet. A bunch of Malay-looking (and hence, presumably) Muslims were all sitting huddled over a drain in a back alley. They were gobbling up food like they were desperately hungry.
Some were having rice, some were eating wanton soup, and some, even instant noodles. I felt it was disgraceful and inhumane that they were forced to eat in such a decrepit environment that not even animals deserved.
The public, of course, were outraged! And they really made it known through social media. Out of all places, how could they be forced to eat by a drain in a back alley! And of course, when something gets so public, politicians started to get into the fray as well, condemning what they saw being posted and reposted on the Internet. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, alvivi, barisan nasional, BN, chua soi lek, fat bidin, hate speech, ibrahim ali, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, new media, news, ridhuan tee, sedition, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee, zulkifli noordin
I had made it a point to not comment in my writings or even mention in any conversations that I had about the Alvivi bak kut teh puasa incident. They are obviously cheap attention seekers who deserve not even a single ounce of my time and intellect.
And Alvilvi is just obviously plain stupidity. And just like the rest of us, I wish we could jail people for stupidity too. But we can’t. Now let’s look at the real hate speech makers out there that have actual intentions of hate and are getting away with it scot-free. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, archbishop, christian, church, fat bidin, islam, jew, joesph marino, journalism, judaism, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, tuhan, vatican, zan azlee
This ‘Allah’ fiasco is not a new issue. In fact, it’s been talked about and highlighted publicly for some years now. The first time I commented on it was a short video documentary I was commissioned to do for a Dutch news agency called VJ Movement several years ago.
And that wasn’t the last either. I have also given my opinion on the issue several times in my columns and writings. For those who are familiar with my work (here’s a symptom of my illusions of grandeur – thinking that I have a following!), it would be no surprise what my opinion on the matter is.
Recently, the newly appointed Vatican envoy to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino, stated in an interview that he supported the call for the word ‘Allah’ to be used by non-Muslims in the country. I don’t see the problem in his comments. I support the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians in the country. In fact, there is proof that the word is used by many non-Muslims all around the world (even before Islam existed!).
It’s an Arabic word which means ‘God’. It’s like the Malay word ‘Tuhan’. It’s like the Cantonese word ‘San’. It’s like the Tamil word ‘Kadavul’. In fact, it’s all exactly the same. In all the Arabic speaking Arab countries that I have visited (Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, UAE, Qatar, Lebanon), the people use the word ‘Allah’ to mean God no matter what religion they are.
Actually, one does not need to go so far. Just take a quick trip to Sabah and pay a visit to any church there and be prepared for a huge shock! And if you want to think about it, Christianity and Islam (along with that other Abrahamic faith – Judaism), have the same God, goddamit! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: Astro Awani, directing, documentary, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: fat bidin, gezi, interview, islam, istanbul, journalism, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, solo journalism, taksim, turkey, zan azlee
If people think that a revolution happens overnight, then they’re wrong. It festers, comes to a tipping point, plateaus and then hopefully something positive happens. The best example would be Turkey, where just over two weeks ago, huge and deadly protests happened all over the country.
It all started in Gezi Park and Taksim Square in Istanbul. And so, being the cat that has yet to be killed by curiosity, I just had to pay the place a visit. And so here I am today typing out this article in a hotel room overlooking, where else if not, Taksim Square and Gezi Park.
The occupation of the square and park has now ended, thanks to the brutal police force used in dispersing the thousands who were there. But this does not mean that the struggle and resistance in Istanbul has ceased. Instead, it is stronger than ever with everything going to the grassroots. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, fat bidin, islam, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
APRIL 5 – Linawati Kate Adnan is my colleague and she sits next to me at work. One Friday, as I was leaving the office for Fridays prayers, she looked at me with full horror in her eyes.
“Zan! You actually pray?”
“What the hell is that suppose to mean?”
True story! And since we’re on the topic of Friday prayers, last week’s sermon really woke me up from my regular afternoon slumber in the mosque. The Khatib called all the Muslims who were in the prayer hall to obey and be loyal to our country’s leaders and that this is an Islamic obligation.
Apparently, based on Quranic verses and the Prophet’s hadith that this is an obligation for all Muslims and that rebelling against them is a huge sin. The sermon went on to say that the act of rebelling includes disputing a legitimate decision made by leaders who were given the powers to govern a country. Back up right there! [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]