Monday, September 7, 2009

The beautiful Malay

Who said Malays, Indian and Chinese in Malaysia have problem.....?

Oh! yes.... only BN says so.....

Attached are only the text message.....pls visit the below link to see the photo as well

The Time to change....PRK Mantin

The beautiful Malay
September 7, 2009

Marina Mahathir had a posting entitled “The Ugly Malay” up two days ago.
She was referring to the uncouth, uncivilised behaviour of the same ‘cow head’ protestors who made their way to the Selangor state government dialogue last Saturday, hijacked the same and allowed no room whatsoever for the voices of reason from within the section 23 community to be heard.
More of my thoughts on that dialogue in another post.
Here, I want to share with you about a little gathering last Friday in Shah Alam that, for me, at least, put on display all that is beautiful about our people.
Including the Malays.
It will help us to take heart that the ugly Malay that Marina spoke of and that we all have had to painfully witness is not your typical Malay.
On Thursday last week, I received the following e-mail from a Malay friend.
“We are very concerned about last week’s protest against the construction of a Hindu temple through cow heads. As individuals we are very disturbed by this and the implications it has on the unity of Malaysia. We are therefore inviting our Muslim friends and colleagues to join us in an attempt to show our solidarity to the Hindu community in Shah Alam and our refusal to allow these provocative and disgraceful acts to be done in the name of Islam. Please join us this Friday,the 4th of September, 8:30 pm in front of the De Palma Inn Hotel in Shah Alam where we will be picked up by someone from the temple to take us there”.
Take us where?
To the temple in section 19, Shah Alam. The temple that was proposed to be re-located to section 23. The temple that sits in the eye of the controversy.
Jaya, Robert, Danny and I set out for the De Palma hotel on Friday evening. Dominic and Chin Huat were going to get there on their own.
We were all at the temple a little after 9pm.
Bearing flowers and fruit that Mas and friends had put together, we were greeted by temple committee members and welcomed into the temple even as prayers were going on.

Jaya leading the way
Very quickly, I made two new friends.

Ramesh serves on the temple committee

I asked Lechumanan if I could take photos within the temple and he helpfully took me on a quick tour to the inner rooms where the deities were housed

Lechu mentioned the names of the deities but, except for one, I can;t remember the others. Sorry, Lechu

This, I think, is Lord Ganapathy, sometimes also called Lord Ganesha. If I'm wrong, forgive me, folks

Prayers were underway so we sat on the floor and joined the congregation.

Food, Not Bombs activists at the back. Chiin Huat in front

If I remember correctly, Joanna on the extreme left whilst Hafizi is on the far right. Didn't get the names of the two ladies in the middle. Slacking in my old age

Another Food, Not Bombs activist

Mas on the right
As the prayers proceeded, temple committee member Selva and Shah Alam local councillor Uthayasoorian
shared with us the problems that the devotees faced.

Temple committee member Selva

Local councillor Uthayasoorian
The issue of relocating the temple has been hanging over their heads for almost two decades.
If special prayers to be held might draw a larger than usual crowd, a police permit must be sought.
A police permit to pray?
They are not permitted to effect repairs to the temple floor, although some parts clearly could do with some repair.
Ramesh pointed out to me a zinc fencing next to the temple.

“The area now fenced in used to be an open space where devotees could park their cars when they come for prayers. In December last year, Pewaris came and fenced off the open space, so that devotees now have no place to park.”, he said
Chin Huat made a lovely suggestion that given that it was the holy month of Ramadhan, how about picking a day where the Hindus could also fast and then host a buka puasa of vegetarian food so that more Muslims who wanted to share fellowship with their Hindu brothers and sisters could come and buka puasa at the temple.
Mas told me today that she will liaise with Selva and see if Chin Huat’s suggestion might be taken up.
After the prayers, we mingled with some of the not-so-shy devotees.

Fellowship after the prayers

More fellowship
Before we left the temple, we got together for a group photo.

Danny's behind the camera. Some were camera-shy. 6 non-Muslims. One not sure. The rest Muslim
Outside the temple, someone spotted a Pewaris signboard just outside the fenced-ff area that Ramesh had alluded to and thought that this would be an ideal place to hold a peaceful demo.

There is hope yet for our country.

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