21 August 2010

It's fasting month in Malaysia, but let's all chill

It is that time of the year when Muslims in Malaysia observe "bulan Ramadhan", a month of fasting which precedes the joyous celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

But alas, it seems that each year this holy month is marred by incidents of misunderstandings, badly checked emotions, insensitive remarks and the like.

Just when it has been alleged that a school principal in Johor had uttered unsettling remarks calling non-Malays "penumpang" (visitors), yet another principal in Kedah has behaved in an unbecoming manner by scolding non-Malays students for eating outside the canteen.

It was reported in the Star on 21 August 2010 that "In the incident, the principal had allegedly scolded 10 Form Three students for eating outside the school canteen at about 7am before classes began. The students were eating outside because the lights in the canteen were not switched on. The principal had purportedly told them off for “not respecting” their Muslim friends and that they “should return to their country of origin if they did not show such respect”.

If the principal did utter such remarks, one wonders why such words are being increasingly used these days? Perhaps, there have been too many people in authority/ politicians who have been using such words of late. And therefore, some simple-minded emotional citizens just follow such bad examples.

Asking non-Malays to return to their country of origin? Where would you ask citizens of Malaysia who were born and raised here, for maybe 2 or 3 generations, and who have contributed to nation-building, to return to? Where would be their country of origin? One would have thought that school principals were more educated, enlightened and rational. Sigh......the quality of the people in charge of our schools these days.

And isn't the point of Ramadhan for people to be more patient, compassionate, kind and to resist the body's usual demands? And surely by seeing other people eat - which is their right, since they are not fasting - should not weaken one's resolve to fast or make a person observing the fast to become furious beyond reason? Be assured that non-Malays would not be so arrogant or stupid or rude as to deliberately eat a scrumptious meal in front of our fellow Malays. But if the students in that school in Kedah were eating around the canteen area, then why should the principal be so upset? Shouldn't the principal respect the right of those students to eat their breakfast in peace? (By the way, why weren't the lights in the canteen turned on? Because it is fasting month, so nobody else needs to eat in the canteen?)

Let's all just chill, and may the noble spirit of Ramadhan prevail this month and for all Ramadhans to come.


  1. *** Some people have so much respect for their superiors they have none left for themselves. ***

    Quoted by :-
    John Peter McArthur was a politician from Alberta, Canada.

  2. 噴泉的高度,不會超過它的源頭。一個人的事業也是如此,它的成就絕不會超過自己的信念。........................................ ........................

  3. Hi KLgirl

    I could not put it better than you on this topic.

    In my housing area, every night, I could see a bunch of boys straight from religious classess, throwing bottles and stones at stray dogs and chasing them with sticks. They seem to take great delight in tormenting the poor animals.

    Sometimes I just wonder what good comes out of fasting when you cannot control your actions or words?