Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? ~Ernest Gaines
Or as Eric Goh said cheekily, "Brokeback Mountain will not be shown, but Munich will, a film about the war between Jews and Muslim. Malaysian society like to watch two men hate each other and shoot guns to kill each other and dislike watching two men falling in love shooting 'water guns'".
Today’s Star said that the:
FT Religious Department wants to go ahead with its snoop squad
By ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN
KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) wants to go ahead with its snoop squad, against the Cabinet's decision.
Jawi public relations officer Idris Hussein said it was not given the opportunity to explain to the Government the purpose of the unit's formation.
The department would wait for Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Abdullah Zin to return from Mecca to brief him on the matter, he said when contacted yesterday.
“The volunteers are tasked to provide us with information on those who commit indecent acts,” he added.
“They are to educate the people and get closer to them so they can explain to the public why they should not be involved in unhealthy activities.”
This is indeed a sad state of affairs. I wonder whether is this kind of thinking representative of the general population or just the religious and political authorities?
If this is how society perceives love and affection, we are in deep trouble. We are more concerned about superficial things; form over substance.
Two people holding hands leads to the bedroom? Do all signs of love and public display of affection eventually lead to sex?
If the moral police think they do, it speaks more about their own morality and thinking, rather than the people who displayed public affection.
Humans are complex beings. No one knows for sure how another thinks. As a Chinese saying goes, one can know what lies in the deepest ocean, but one can never delve to the bottom of another’s heart.
Instead of focusing on the effective solutions, like sex education and providing avenues for young people to spend leisure time like community centers, stadiums, etc, the moral police took the easy way out – monitor their behaviour.
It’s obviously a case of stopping the effect or symptom, without addressing the cause or root of the problem.
In fact, I don’t even what does the religious authorities are trying to achieve. Holding hands are a sign of what? Bad grades? Loose morals?
Real issues that need attention, like violent crime and rape (as in the case early this week of a jogger in Penang who was raped and murdered) are ignored. Things that affect the public’s safety for real are neglected.
Wouldn’t it have been better if there are crime squads instead? To be fair, the police do catch the offenders. But they seem to act only after a crime has been committed and not before. What kind of crime preventive measures are actually being carried out? Isn’t prevention better than cure?
Needless to say, it’s a pointless and inane endeavour. People can easily hold hands in the car or in shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. (Note that the snoop squad operates only in Putrajaya, the administrative capital.)
In short, violence doesn’t make us blink twice, but sex-related issues do. I have yet to come across anyone in Malaysia who raised concerns about violent video games and its affect on the PS2 generation. Rather, I see TMNet plastering posters at toll plazas, which say to hold down Alt F4 to exit porn pages.
That might not be a fair comparison, but the reality is that sex gets the authorities’ knickers all tied up.
Violence? Hardly. Well, maybe just a little, when there's rape and murder. But it's only a flash in the pan; sex gets attention all year round.
Actually, I feel that this whole thing goes down deeper. It’s about Malaysia’s obsession with form over substance.
Just take a long at our own Book of Records. Who gives a damn about the largest ketupat, roti canai or yee sang (raw fish)? Or the longest line of twenty-cent coins and satay?
Parents want children to score As, without paying attention to whether the child is actually learning.
Kuala Lumpur gets a temporary makeover whenever there is an international conference or summit. Posters and lights get put up, but never maintained or taken down after.
There’s a sticker on the back of heavy vehicles, showing a number to call and another to SMS if other drivers catch them speeding or driving dangerously. You guessed it; no one ever picks up the phone.
Let's not even mention about the "Drape the 57 OIC countries' flags on the pyramids" plan, another form over substance and shiok sendiri (self-gratification) exercise.
I can go on and on.
And here we were, host of the Perdana Global Peace Forum last December in Kuala Lumpur. How can we claim to peace-loving, when we’re so uptight about loving and signs of loving?
We really should get our priorities right. And stop being so superficial. And start getting down to the roots of problems. And ...
P/S On an unrelated note. To anonymous who posted a comment on a long ago post (July 2005), about the 2nd letter, could you please send me an email? I would like to reply on your comment. Thanks.