Friday, October 02, 2009

EK 346 to Gatwick

It was a different kind of flight this time when I was travelling from KUL to DBX for a transit back to London when there was the three of us, Singaporean Mr Wong, Iranian Max 'Miller' and the Malaysian me sitting in the same row 15-right.

They didn't give me the right first impressions as they were busy discussing about Max's personal encounter with some 'extreme' Malays during his 4 months stay in Malaysia.

Mr Wong, commented further on how he disagrees with some 'extreme' Muslims being so 'rigid' on eating in the same table as non-Muslims because of some pork-issues.

"Cannot touch pork!"

Max kept on repeating how Muslim Malays can be so extreme.

I only offered my opinion in regards with 'extreme' Muslim Malays when dealing with the Zakat fund in which Mr Wong agreed, adding that religious leaders, be it Muslims or Christians or Buddhists (Dalai Lama was mentioned) are 'fat cats' making money out of their respective religions.

We also talked about social problems in our countries but Mr Wong, being outspoken over racial issues in Malaysia had given some strong but sensible comments about how Malaysia can improve as a nation.

We also talked about the crooked bridge with Mahathir being the center of our discussion.

When asked if Singapore is paying so cheap of a price when importing water from Malaysia, Mr Wong agrees. "There is always a room for renegotiation. We know that we are paying at a very cheap price, but Mahathir was not using the right method to discuss. He threatened to switch off the tap but Lee Kuan Yew retaliated by saying 'we will go in and take the water'. We are always willing to pay more since we are a rich nation, but there was no discussion during Mahathir's time. Only fighting."

Mahathir has always been at odds with LKY. No discussion!

Meanwhile, I finally realised why Max was angry with Malay Muslims. It is because that Max is quite a liberal Muslim, his lifestyle will not suit Malay Muslims as most Malay Muslims don't drink alcohol and are biggest fans of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

Max is having troubles going in and out the country. Being a lecturer who loves travel he has every reason to disagree with Muslim Malaysians who support the Iranian President.

"We are paying the price for his 'boldness'!"

Apparently Max real name is not Max nor Miller. But Mahdi. He is about 30-40 years old.

Mr. Wong is a big fan of Zaid Ibrahim and also Nik Aziz, although he sometimes dislike the latter's Islamic views.

Mr. Wong is around 50 to 60 years old, a wise old man with a big smile as a weapon. Being a travel agency director that is like a checklist item.

There is one thing that I find really interesting when he told me about a story of an Indian MP in Singapore questioning the 'Special privileges' of the minorities which regards to education and called this privileges to be scrapped.

Yes, there is a special rights for Malays in Singapore I didn't know that.

LKY ticked off the Indian MP by slamming him that he had touched the 'sacred cow'. "This special privileges is enshrined in Singapore's constituency." In a country like Singapore, after a full force of demonising by Mahathir, people in Malaysia, Malays in particular, think that Malays are marginalised in Singapore.

"Under this special rights, Malays are given free education up until university," Mr Wong said.

Yes, PPSMI was also discussed. Mr Wong thinks Malaysia is going backwards by abolishing PPSMI. I added that it should be PPSMII with IT subject included.

"Is this a Mouse or Tetikus?" I barked in annoyance.

I saluted Singapore's brave move to unify all schools into one national school. Some Chinese schools in Singapore kept their Chinese names, but most subjects are taught in English. They can learn Mandarin or Tamil as a third language. Malay language is a compulsory subject.

No wonder the Singaporeans speak English better than us, Singlish or not.

Wa lau wei!

The 2-hour 3-way discussion ended when everyone fell asleep or started watching their favourite movies during the night flight.

I came to a conclusion that again, it's all about respect and knowing each other. Never ever give hate and prejudice the chance to take over our judgments.

Just because Mahathir taught us to hate Singapore (or Lee Kuan Yew), doesn't mean we have to hate Singaporeans.

Just because someone is Iranian, doesn't mean he supports the current President.

We all know that Muslims aren't supposed to eat pork or drink liquor. What you can do is respect their faith and don't simply brand these people extremists since you do eat pork and drink liquor.

We all know that Hindus don't eat beef and they believe that cow is a sacred animal and they do build temples to pray. What you can do is respect their faith and don't simply ask them to go back to India or slaughter this animal in front of them just to provoke them.

We all know that Christians do have their missionary brigades around the world that doesn't mean we should slaughter them and eat their meat just like an incident in Samoa many-many years ago. We also shouldn't allow Al-Islam journalists to snoop around the Christians activities to sell their magazines.

We all know that there are aethists around the world but that doesn't mean they can condemn people's belief in God. They should learn to respect other people's beliefs since most of these people believe in God since they were very young and vowed to have faith in God till the day they die.

"To you be your religion, and to me my religion." Al-Kaafiruun (Ayat 6)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans do not take malay as a compulsory language..
English is a compulsory language for all students and all our papers, sci/ math textbooks etc are in english..
Mother tongue language such as mandarin, malay and tamil is our second-language. Most likely, students will take their own mother tongue language according to their race. But there are quite a number of indians taking chinese as well