In all likelihood, the story by the Perak deputy mufti, Zamri Hashim, that a municipal council, from an undisclosed location in Perak, asked the mufti’s advice about building an eagle statue, is just that – a self-created, cynical story with a personal or political agenda.
In which municipal council in Perak would an eagle statue be relevant like it is in Langkawi? If there is truth in the story, why not state it forthrightly, state openly which Local Authority?
When Rayani Air started its syariah-compliant service with hostesses wearing head scarves, a similar cynical story made the news. A Mufti from up North, having taken a MAS flight, told the media that an air hostess had approached him and cried (not on his shoulder) as she was not allowed to wear a head scarf. So he advised that MAS should follow the example of Rayani Air.
More is needed than story telling. Can any Mufti worth his salt please explain the growth and spread of any or all of the following common Malaysian societal diseases that have reached epidemic levels?
- How did the Eagles and other Monuments (E&M) motivate the minds of road rouges known as Mat Rempit, now labelled by the police as “samseng jalanan”? A minister was puzzled as to why they are all Malays.
- How were school children, particularly in national schools, taught by the E&M to misbehave to such an extent that they think nothing of breaking the legs and arms of their schools friends, even to the extent of killing them? These are happening in religious schools as well, places where there should be peace and love.
- How did the E&M influence the dumping of new born babies in dustbins, drains, toilets?
- What was the power of the E&M over fathers who believe it is their right to commit incest? These cases are mainly reported in the North-Eastern states where religion is supposed to be strong?
- How did the lifeless E&M teach children and other youngsters to get into drugs?
- Over the past few months, several high ranking government officers were taken in by the MACC for corruption. How did the E&M get the religious and moral values out of the souls of these persons, making them forget that religion forbids corruption?
- How did the E&M remove the moral values of honesty and turn so many people into fraudsters who prey on the weak and ignorant?
What should guide the Muftis in their work of inculcating religious values in their flocks – their personal perception of things, the truth of things, or political factors and considerations?What is the truth of things as regards the moral decadence causing the above listed diseases, which is just a sampling?
If the Muftis firmly and honestly believe that all these diseases were caused by the E&M, then please lay the analysis on the table and let people understand how, step by step, the E&M took control of the minds of people with strong religious values and caused them to throw those religious values out. Rational people would then be able to support them in their jihad of removing the E&M that are proven to be root causes of the spread of evil in our society.
In the absence of such analysis and evidence, don’t blame people if they feel the Muftis are going overboard, trying to soar high like eagles, but with myopic vision.
The tragedy here is that the Muftis are civil servants, being employees of the state, but over whom the state has no control or has lost all control. They are not getting instructions from “somewhere else”, but are imposing their own interpretations and perceptions.
They owe Malaysians an explanation why all the religious education over the past six decades since independence has successfully failed to produce a society that strongly carries religious values and virtues in their person.
The Muftis would be doing a great service to the Nation if they could for a start just tackle the school indiscipline issue, because well-disciplined children will generally become future citizens with good moral values while undisciplined children will turn into all manner of criminals and liabilities to society.
They are surely not unaware of the old Malay saying “tatkala lagi rebung, tiada dipatah, ketika sudah jadi aur apa gunanya” (mengajar seseorang itu hendaklah ketika ia masih muda, kalau sudah besar, tidak akan berhasil lagi).