Monday, February 13, 2012

The Valentine’s Day equation

One Man's Meat
By Philip Golingai

Why is PAS so against Valentine’s Day? It has equated the day to: roses + candlelight dinner + love = sex.

FROM what I’ve been reading, PAS has been equating Valentine’s Day to: roses + candlelight dinner + love = sex.

Curious to know how Feb 14 can lead to sex, I met PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan at-Tantawi at the party’s headquarters in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. I thought the secret would be revealed.

“Why is PAS so against Valentine’s Day?” I asked Nasrudin.

“We don’t want to ban Valentine’s Day. What we want is to state that Muslims cannot celebrate it as it is not a day which is celebrated by Muslims,” he said in Malay.

“Non-Muslims are free to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Why can’t Muslims celebrate Valentine’s Day?” I asked.

“It is not a Muslim activity. It is from another religion. I am not clear about it.

“Some say it is from the Christians or other ...” he said, stopping abruptly as he probably decided not to speculate on the origin of Valentine’s Day so as not to offend non-Muslims.

“But it is usual in Malaysia that it encourages couple to go for date at a suspicious, quiet and dark place like a hotel, a park or a beach. And that is wrong.”

“Religion aside,” I said, “what’s wrong with Valentine’s Day?”

“For example, I read in the newspaper a few years ago that a hotel in Terengganu had a promotion for its Valentine’s Day dinner where the first 10 couples to register would get a free night stay,” Nasrudin said.

“Doesn’t that show that Valentine’s Day leads to immoral activities?”

“Is it true that PAS thinks that Valentine’s Day will lead to ... ermm...,” I said, and because I couldn’t find the right word for “sex” in Malay, I fluffed my question.

I decided on zina (illicit sex).

“We are taking pre-emptive measures,” explained Nasrudin.

“Usually when Valentine’s Day is celebrated a couple will go for a date and we don’t want that date to lead to zina and etc.”

“We have three conditions for a Muslim couple who wants to go on a date. First, they can’t be berdua-duaan (going out as a couple), they must be chaperoned by a mahram (a close relative).

“Second, the woman can’t wear clothes that show her aurat (parts of the body that should not be exposed according to Islamic belief) and that is menjolok mata (in Defence Ministry lingo: poke eye).

“Third, the couple cannot do activities prohibited by their religion. (i.e. khalwat and zina).

“But when I say that couple can date with these three conditions I don’t mean they can celebrate Valentine’s Day. They can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

The PAS Youth chief explained that it was not only zina which was salah (wrong) but also berdua-duaan.

Berdua-duaan is the mukadimah (prelude) to zina,” he said. “That is why a couple can’t be berdua-duaan. They must be accompanied by a mahram.”

“What is the percentage of berdua-duan couple ending up having sex?” I asked.

“It is not impossible (that they would end up having sex). But I don’t have the statistics. But when a couple berdua-duaan in a room, there is a third party,” he said.

“Interesting,” I thought, “threesome with the mahram.”

“Who?” I asked.

Syaitan (devil),” he said. “We have to worry about syaitan.”

Syaitan, according to the Ustaz, will seduce the couple into doing the nasty.

“In most rape cases, the perpetrator is known to the victim. And this is because when the couple is in a place where they are alone, the perpetrator will succumb to his desire,” the politician known as Tantawi explained.

“That is the danger of berdua-duaan. It will lead to other social problems such as rape and baby dumping.”

But it is not only Valentine’s Day that PAS thinks encourages free sex.

“We know pergaulan bebas (free association) happens on public holidays even on Hari Merdeka,” Nasrudin said.

“How?” I asked, surprised to learn that celebrating Hari Merdeka can lead to sex. Must be something to do with the word “independence” I thought.

On the eve of Hari Merdeka, according to the ustaz, there were couples who waited for the clock to strike midnight in a dark and secluded place.

And they would be drinking alcohol and eventually (to use a visual metaphor in Malay movies) the champagne cork would pop.

I can’t wait for PAS to ban romantic celebrations of Hari Merdeka.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Outrage over ‘merger’ prediction

One Man's Meat

There are Malaysians who have no love lost for Singapore, more so after years of fighting over water, airspace, bridge, sand, rock and chicken rice.

IN Datuk Dr Hasan Ali’s world, if the Opposition won the 13th general election, Malaysia and Singapore would become one.

“Imagine what DAP will do once they take over Putrajaya. They will merge Malaysia with Singapore and join hands with Singapore’s PAP,” the recently expelled PAS member told 1,000 people in Bangi, Selangor, as reported by a news portal.

It was a Tuesday night and Hasan was in his element during his nationwide roadshow after being kicked out of PAS on Jan 8.

To add spice to his prediction, the former Selangor PAS commissioner speculated that the merged entity would be a republic.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang struck back.

“One should get outraged and incensed at lies and falsehoods, but when they are so far-fetched, with Hasan talking as if he has got more than a few screws loose in his head, it is impossible to get angry and outraged but only have feelings of great pity at the gibberish pouring out from him,” he said, as reported by the news portal.

“It is clearly an utter waste of time to try to reason with such a deranged person.”

Losing a few screws in his head or not, there is method in Hasan’s madness.

The politician, who will set up a non-governmental organisation called Jati to fight for Islam, Malay rights and the Malay Rulers, was speaking the language of his listeners.

In one breath, he introduces three bogeymen — Singapore, PAP (People’s Action Party) and republic. Scary words if you were his listeners.

Hasan’s fear mongering is preposterous. But, for me, it brought back the romantic notion that Malaysia’s prodigal brother could/would return.

(On Aug 9, 1965, following a union lasting longer than a Kim Kardashian marriage, Malaysia and Singapore went their separate ways.)

Maybe it’s because I’m from Sabah — which together with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore formed Malaysia in 1963 — that I would like to see the Federation of Malaysia whole again.

So on Wednesday @philipgolingai tweeted: “Interesting. According to Hasan Ali, DAP will make Malaysia whole again. Welcome back Singapore!”

And my timeline on Twitterjaya (the moniker of the Malaysian twittersphere) fired up as if my tweet was a white ang pow. (The white ang pow insult was sparked by another son of Ali, Datuk Ibrahim Ali, the president of Perkasa who is himself — to some — a bogeyman.)

From some of the tweets on my timeline, I sense that there are Malaysians who have no love lost for the red dot called Singapore.

Perhaps after years of fighting over water, airspace, bridge, sand, rock (Batu Puteh or Pedra Branca) and chicken rice, Singapore is the imaginary monster we used to frighten children with.

@KhanOfWar Khan replied: “PAP’s slave?”

And I tweeted: “I think Malaysians smarter in the art of politics. Sure we can turn them and their Singapore dollars into our slave.”

Here are some of my tweets on why I think it would be fun to have Singapore back into the Malaysia family.

> “We get to shop at Orchard Road with our ringgit.”

> “We also get SIA’s Singapore Girls” to which @patricklsk replied: “Most of them are Malaysians anyway” and @razzbuzz tweeted: “And sarong party girls, bugis street girls/guys?”

> “If Hasan Ali’s prediction comes true, Malaysia will host 2 F1 events and have 3 casinos.”

> “If Hasan Ali’s prediction comes true, it will be Chief Minister Datuk Seri Lee Hsien Loong” which drew @hwabeng to reply: “And he reports 2 Putrajaya.”

@hwabeng (former three-term Subang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng) also tweeted: “If Singapore merges with us again, we shall control Singapore due to our bigger population. Tell Hasan Ali not a bad idea.”

@LittleHantu: “MAS/SIA/AirAsia/Firefly/Tiger/Jetstar/ SilkAir will be World’s Largest Carrier too? Dream on, Hasan Ali.”

@DatuWil: “Hasan’s ‘Msia /Spore Merge’ story. Wow, we finally could be first world.”

@aidilarazak: “And we can make them surrender their taxes! A solution to reduce/eliminate deficit?” to which @_Garylim_ replied: “cannot la ... then they ask (for) our oil reserves. How?”

@ismaeltahir: “Oh we will have sentosa as well! N maybe link mrt to kl.”

There were also anti-Hasan tweets.

@DarellLeiking: “This (deleted) never ceases to amaze me .... and just when u tot it was over with the solar-powered talking Bible :)”

@KerrySin: “He should go to the Moon on a 1way ticket? Maybe he might be more successful governing the moon.”

@m_hafifi: “What did he smoke lately?” to which I replied: “He’s been drinking Tongkat Ali.”

My one big worry about the return of our prodigal brother is summed up in a tweet by @macfaisal: “No wonder I woke up feeling kiasu.”