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Bak-kut-teh is NOT chik-kut-teh

Posted: 18 Jul 2013 07:34 PM PDT

Come on. Who are you trying to kid? Is chasiu pau halal? Is it made with chicken? If it is it will not be called chasiu pau. It would be called kai pau. And is bak-kut-teh made with chicken? A less fatty variation of bak-kut-teh made with chicken instead of pork is called chik-kut-teh.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The issue of what the media has now labelled the two 'sex Bloggers' has taken Malaysia's racial and religious divide to new heights. Just when you thought that we are already scraping the bottom of the barrel and it cannot get any worse than this, it does.

But what is this issue really about?

Some say, yes, these two 'sex Bloggers' may have committed a crime, but then so have a few others. So why take action only against these two and not against the rest?

Now, that is exactly the point I have been making for so many years. But when I raise that matter many of you whack me rather than discuss the issue at hand. My point is you are always aiming at the wrong target. You do not seem to know who or what is at fault and what we should do to address the matter.

Oh, the solution is simple, you argue. Just change the government. Then the matter will be solved. Will it? Is it that simple? Or is it you are too simple-minded and imagine that to clean the dirt all we need to do is to sweep it under the carpet. Once it is hidden under the carpet we can no longer see it. And if we do not see it that means it is no longer there.

Not that simple mah!

First of all, who is the one with the authority to decide whether to prosecute or not? And who decides under which law to prosecute?

The police do not have that authority. The police's job is just to investigate and gather the evidence and then make the arrest if there is evidence of a crime. The investigation papers then go to the Attorney General and if the AG is of the opinion there is sufficient evidence he will prosecute.

Sometimes the AG may send the investigation papers back to the police if he feels the case is not 'tight' enough. Sometimes he may decide not to prosecute even if there is a solid case. And sometimes he may prosecute even if the case is flimsy.

Whatever it may be it is the AG's call. Nothing goes to court unless the AG says so.

Once a police report has been made the police are compelled to open a file. They can look at the police report and come to the conclusion that the issue is frivolous and does not warrant further action. Sometimes they may decide that the police report is false and investigate the person who made the report instead. It can go either way.

Laws are for the protection of the community. Hence the interest of and the impact to the community also have to be taken into consideration. It is not always just about punishment. It is also sometimes about prevention. A balance needs to be sought between punishing the transgressor and protecting society. This balance is supposed to be done on an impartial basis. But how can people be 100% neutral when race, religion, political affiliations, etc., influence how we think?

A Malay judge once stated that he would rule based on his conscience as a Muslim when he should instead rule based on the letter and spirit of the law. Hence this judge is declaring that he is a Muslim first and a judge second.

So is his ruling going to be impartial? Certainly not! His ruling is going to be based on how he feels he should rule as a Muslim even if that is not quite what the law says he should do.

The two 'sex Bloggers' were charged for a crime under Malaysia's criminal law. And this means secular laws. But their crime is for offending Muslims by insulting Islam. So how do you balance between religion and secularism? You can't. Religion and secularism are opposing ideologies. So one of the two is going to lose out.

So, the million-dollar question that many of you have been asking over the last few days: why charge the two 'sex Bloggers' and not the others? Only the AG can reply to that question. But I doubt he will.

Ultimately, the issue here is about insulting Islam. But some of you argue that calling bak-kut-teh halal is not wrong because there is such a thing as halal bak-kut-teh. It could be bak-kut-teh made from chicken, which then would be halal. "So where is the insult?" you scream.

Come on. Who are you trying to kid? Is chasiu pau halal? Is it made with chicken? If it is it will not be called chasiu pau. It would be called kai pau. And is bak-kut-teh made with chicken? A less fatty variation of bak-kut-teh made with chicken instead of pork is called chik-kut-teh.

The Chinese word bak (), which means meat (or more specifically pork), is the vernacular pronunciation in Hokkien and Teochew. It was first introduced to Malaya in the 19th century by Chinese coolies and workers of Hokkien origin.

The Muslims view the stunt by the two 'sex Bloggers' as an act of provocation as well as mockery towards Islam. And they are not wrong in thinking so because that is exactly what it is. And you cannot blame the Muslims for reacting against any act of provocation and mockery. If you do not wish to attract that type of reaction then don't provoke and mock.

Sure, other people have also, as you said, insulted others. So are you saying then it is kosher to provoke and mock Muslims since Muslims have also done the same to others? That is a weak and childish attitude to have.

So, a Malay man/boy somewhere raped a Chinese girl and he was never sent to jail for whatever reason we all do not know. That means it is no longer wrong for Chinese to rape Malay girls. Can you get off if you tell the judge in a rape trial this is the only reason you raped the Malay girl, if not you would nave never done it?

In that case the Japanese killed tens of thousands of Malayans back in the 1940s and were never punished. Is it therefore okay for us to strangle Japanese tourists who come to Malaysia?

I am sure the judge will look at this from your point of view: that since they did it and got away with it then it is not wrong for us to also do it. Maybe the judge who also lost family members in the 1940s should now shake your hand and call you a patriot and invite you home for dinner.

Yeah, right, I am a racist. I know what you are going to say. Fine, but at least I am not an idiot.


It’s called entrapment

Posted: 18 Jul 2013 04:39 PM PDT

Okay, we know who replied to the question. Can I now have the name of the person who asked that question? Yes, I want the name of the person who asked that question. Give me that name. Now! And if you can't give me that name then shut the fuck up until you can. And I mean BOTH sides to this argument.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The Vatican's envoy to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino, was in the spotlight over the Allah controversy but for the wrong reasons.

Responding to a question in a meeting last week with a small group of reporters, the 60-year old diplomat, among other things, said he supported the arguments in a fact sheet put out by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) on why Christians should be allowed to use the word 'Allah' to refer to God.

"In terms of how they presented the arguments in favour, it seems to be quite logical and acceptable," he said in his first media outing since arriving in Malaysia in mid-April as the first Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, two years after Malaysia established diplomatic ties with the Vatican.

Two local online news portals invited to the meeting characterised his comments as supporting the use of 'Allah' which immediately drew flak particularly two right wing Malay groups, Perkasa and Jati. They demanded that the government shut down the Vatican's embassy and kick out Marino if he did not apologise. 

Their reaction seemed disproportionate to the situation and surprised even Bernard Dompok, president of UPKO, a component party in the ruling coalition. The former Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said Perkasa had gone way too far in their demand. "To ask an ambassador to leave… that is just unbelievable," he said.

(Read more here: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/allah-word-in-spotlight-again-but-for-the-wrong-reasons-bob-teoh)


So, it seems that the Envoy from the Vatican met the press last week. And one of the members of this press corps asked the Envoy a question. And the Envoy, being a true Christian, replied to that question truthfully. And now some Malaysians want the government to send two submarines to Rome to bomb that city (well, maybe not as dramatic as that but certainly they want him kicked out of the country).

So now, yet again, the Muslims and Christians are 'at war' (sigh...and after writing almost a dozen articles about the Christian-Muslim divide over the last fortnight on top of that).

Now do you see why I need to write these articles? This is because the more religious they are the more stupid they become. They should put warning labels on all 'holy books' like they do on cigarette boxes: 'The Surgeon-General certifies that religion causes irrevocable permanent brain damage'.

First of all, why ask a question that you will not like the answer to? The Envoy is a man of God so he will certainly reply with the truth of what he believes. So if you can't stand the truth don't go asking questions. Anyway, this is not only entrapment but contempt of court as well since this matter is still before the court. So I blame the person who asked the question.

Did you expect the Envoy to lie just to please you? He is not in the business of pleasing you. He is in the business of pleasing God, not you. And why should he lie to please you when lying will displease God.

So who is at fault here? The person who replied to your question or the person who asked that question? Why pick on the person who replied to the question? Whack the bastard (or bitch) who asked that question.

Okay, we know who replied to the question. Can I now have the name of the person who asked that question? Yes, I want the name of the person who asked that question. Give me that name. Now! And if you can't give me that name then shut the fuck up until you can. And I mean BOTH sides to this argument.

You ask a question and you get upset with the reply. How stupid can you be? I thought religion enlightens you, not makes you more stupid. What did you expect the Envoy to do? Suddenly turn politician and reply to that question with a political statement?

Okay, maybe he should have responded as follows instead:

"That is a most interesting question. Yes, I realise that that issue has been a bone of contention for both the Muslims and Christians in Malaysia. However, while it is a very simple and straightforward question, the answer is not equally simple and straightforward.

I shall need to reflect on that question. It is best that I fast for 40 days and beseech God for guidance first before I attempt a response. I will certainly bring this question to the attention of the Pope in Rome who will most definitely bring it to the College of Cardinals for deliberation.

I realise that you may be expecting an immediate response but it may take time to come to an agreement on the appropriate response. Even the issue of Galileo Galilei took almost 450 years to resolve even after he was proven right that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around.

This may appear too long for some of you but then if you measure this in human years that may be so. However, God is beyond time, God is eternal, so time is of no consequence to the Lord. And in time, with God's will, the answer will come with the guidance of the Lord.

However, it is good that you raised that question. It shows that we are always pondering on issues regarding faith, as what the Lord would like us to do. I commend the person who asked that question and urge more of you to adopt that same attitude of always seeking the truth. A person who stops seeking for the truth is a person who is dead long before the soul leaves his or her body.

Thank you so much for that question. Next question please!"

I suppose that response will please the Muslims but not the Christians. However, while the Muslims are normally more militant, the Christians are supposed to be more patient and forgiving. And they are supposed to hold fast to the belief that their faith will see all matters resolved in the end with the Lord's help.

I remember back in the old days -- I was very young then -- when the Romans gave the Christians an ultimatum to abandon Christianity or else get thrown to the lions. But the Christians refused. They knew they were right and the Romans were wrong. So they held steadfast to their belief in Christ and refused to budge.

The Romans then rounded up the Christians and brought them into the arena and then released the lions.

The Christians still refused to budge. They got down on their knees and prayed to God and beseeched God to turn the lions into Christian-friendly creatures.

And it worked, a miracle of sorts. The lions also got down on their hind paws, and with the fore paws clasped in prayer, they uttered, "Lord, for what we are about to receive, we thank you."

Hence prayer and patience can be very potent is matters such as these. So why not get down on your knees and pray for people like Ibrahim Ali, Zul Nordin, Ridhuan Tee, Hasan Ali, etc., to be turned into Christian-friendly creatures like the good Christian that you are? And if that does not work it can only mean that God does not want it to happen. And for that you also need to thank the Lord because nothing happens without God's will.


Impressions and interpretations

Posted: 17 Jul 2013 05:33 PM PDT

And this is the single most crucial element in the difference between the two religions. If you accept the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ that would mean the Bible is right and the Qur'an is wrong. If you reject the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ that would mean the Qur'an is right and the Bible is wrong.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Most religionists (a religionist means a person who has faith in something: also called acceptor, submitter, adherent, apostle, canonist, convert, devotee, disciple, doctrinaire, dogmatist, follower, freak, orthodox, prophet, proselyte, religious person, supporter, upholder, zealot, etc.) think that religion is an exact science.

It is not. There is nothing precise in religion. Religion is subject to impressions and interpretations.

Hence, to the layman, they need to take the word of a scholar, priest, imam, etc., to interpret what their religion is trying to teach you because just by reading the 'holy books' you can't always understand what the message is supposed to be.

And herein lies the problem. You need to trust the skills and knowledge of your 'teacher'. And your teacher will look at things from his or her viewpoint -- which may not always be right because people are unavoidably influenced by 'external factors' such as upbringing, society norms, cultural background, etc.

And this means you can never get a 'pure' impression and interpretation. Invariably, all impressions and interpretations will get 'tainted' to a certain degree.

This is further complicated by the belief that some 'holy books' contain 'hidden messages', which are beyond the comprehension of the 'lower level' religious adherent. For example, Muslims believe that only the Sufis can grasp the 'higher' or 'hidden messages' in Islam. The layman Muslim, which would be the majority of the Muslims, cannot grasp this 'higher level' understanding of Islam.

So who then really knows Islam? Not you and I, the 99% or so of the Muslims. Only the 1% or less of the Muslims who are truly enlightened can understand Islam. The rest of us just have to accept the word of the 'learned man' and trust this person and follow this person's advise.

It was once the same for Christianity. In the past it was a crime to translate the Bible into your mother tongue. The Bible had to be in Latin so you needed to learn Latin to know the Bible. And, like in Islam's case, since less than 1% of Christians read Latin, that means 99% or so of the Christians did not understand what the Bible was really saying. You had to trust the impressions and interpretations of your priest.

But then the Bible was not originally in Latin (or Greek). It was in Aramaic. So if you want to really understand the Bible you had to get your hands on the Aramaic version of the Bible and learn Aramaic to be able to read it.

How many Christians speak Aramaic and have an Aramaic copy of the Bible? So you need to get your hands on the translated version of the Bible instead and hope that whoever translated it got it right.

But then the message in most of the 'holy books' (the Qur'an included) is not always literal. There is much that is allegorical as well. Did the person who translated this original version of the 'holy book' understand which part is literal and which part is allegorical?

And herein lies the second problem.

Let me give you an example. Let us look at Genesis 3:15.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (King James Version)

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (New International Version) 

How would you interpret this verse? Is it literal or allegorical? If I were to take it literally I would say this refers to God making the snake the enemy of humankind because of what the snake did to Eve: tricked her into convincing Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. People will kill snakes while snakes will strike people as punishment.

But is that all there is to this message: about snakes and people being enemies? Is there instead maybe an allegorical message here?

Another very crucial point to note is: was it not Satan that tricked Eve? In that case why is the snake being punished when it was actually Satan, masquerading as a snake, who committed the crime? How can a just God punish the snake for the evil deed of Satan? This does not give the compassionate God a good image, does it?

So you see, much of what we know and what we believe is based on 'guidance'. In short, we have been taught by certain people what we should believe based on these people's understanding of what it was supposed to mean. Are these people right? As what religionists would say: only God knows.

You may think you know your religion. In fact, you may even think you know more than me. But what is it that you know? You only know what someone told you. But you do not know whether this someone is right. You believe this person is right. And belief does not make it right or a fact. Belief is still just that, belief.

In law, hearsay is not evidence. In religion, hearsay is everything. Can you send someone to jail or sentence that person to death based on hearsay? You would be outraged if that happens. But you are not outraged when someone tells you a story about an event that happened, say, 3,500 years ago, based on hearsay.

How many 'holy books' do you read? And which 'holy books' are those? Do you know that there are more 'holy books' in existence than you are not aware of? And you do not read these 'holy books' because they are classified as Apocryphal. But who agreed on this classification?

It is the same with Islam. We have the Qur'an and then we have the Hadith. There are about 700,000 Hadith but less than 7,000 are accepted as authentic and the rest as apocrypha. Some sects accept only 500 and others none at all.

Again, Islam and Christianity walk down the same path.

If you were to read the Bible and the Qur'an you will find much overlap and agreement in belief. The glaring difference would be in the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ is the foundation of Christianity. Islam rejects this in total so this means Islam rejects the foundation of Christianity.

And this is the single most crucial element in the difference between the two religions. If you accept the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ that would mean the Bible is right and the Qur'an is wrong. If you reject the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ that would mean the Qur'an is right and the Bible is wrong.

And this whole thing comes about because of the issue of sin and the punishment for sin. Without the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ then the matter of sin can never be resolved.

In Islam, you commit both good and bad deeds and God will look at the balance between the two. You receive sin for the bad deeds and blessings for the good deeds. If you clock up more positives than negatives then you get to go to heaven. So you need to make sure your account is in black and not in red.

In Christianity, you commit only good deeds. Even the smallest bad deed (say like calling someone 'stupid') is a sin that will not escape punishment. Hence you can commit 1,000,000 good deeds but if you commit even one bad deed you will still get sent to hell, unlike in Islam.

In other words, in Islam, the door to heaven is still open to you if you can try to do a bit more good than bad (say 51% good versus 49% bad). In Christianity, the door to heaven will always remain closed even if you do 99.9% good and just 0.1% bad. No sin can be forgiven never mind how good you are.

Now, Christianity believes we are all born sinners (while Islam says we are born pure like a white cloth). That means every single person is going to end up in hell. Not a single person is going to heaven. But then God sent Jesus to die on the cross so that he can 'underwrite' all our sins. Hence, without the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, heaven will be entirely empty and every single person will be in hell.

And this, basically, is the fundamental difference between the two faiths involving the way or road to heaven. And that is why Christianity and Islam have been fighting for 'world domination' for more than 1,000 years. It is all about the differences of opinion in how we get to heaven.

And while they battle it out to decide who has the correct version and who has the wrong version in how we get to heaven, they make life on earth a living hell for the rest of us.

To conclude, you could say that Islam is about balance while Christianity is about absolute. But then that is my impression and interpretation of things and is subject to opinion.


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