Saturday, 27 September 2008


In three days time, we'll be celebrating our Hari Raya Puasa. No need for me to explain the religious significance behind this occasion and the fasting that some muslims have faithfully observed the last 27 days and will be observing for the final three days. If there are any of you malaysians of any race who does not understand the reasons behind this practice, then go become a permanent resident of Australia, USA or New Zealand for all I care. You don't deserved to be a malaysian and is not fit to live in a malay majority multi racial country.

I'll be going back to my home town in Segamat, Johor on the second day of raya. The first will be spent at my in-laws house in Petaling Jaya. It has been our practice since we first got married, that we alternate every year on where to spent our first day of hari raya. Sad to say, this hari raya or the hari rayas (hei! is there such a thing as the plural of hari raya) before that will be just a normal day to mark my success in carrying out the command of Allah s.w.t. I missed and will continue to miss the hari raya days of old.

In the early 60’s when I’ve just started school, I was living at Unit E, Block 35, Clementi Estate, Air Rajah Road MOR (malayan other ranks) Barracks in Singapore. There were 8 units in our block. My late father served in the British Army’s 8th Intelligence Unit, the only two MOR in that unit. I remember Uncle Rajmal and his trusty bicycle which he polished every evening and uncle Mohd Don with his sissy son who needs to be sent to school every day by his mom even when we were in secondary school. I can’t remember the other uncles and aunties though.

Anyway, on the first day of hari raya, all the men folks will gather and walk together to the nearby mosque at the nearby Bukit Cherry (where Lt.Adnan was killed by the Japanese) for their Eidil Fitri prayers. After the prayers, they will in turn visit each other’s house which can easily last until late afternoon. Do we have that today? What we have is each family driving out to the mosque in their cars. A cursory raya greetings at the mosque then back to the house to watch the TV. Where has that camaraderie and togetherness gone to.

For us kids, before the raya prayers, we will be tasked to exchange trays of hari raya goodies with our neighbours (and a chance to exchange glances with the neighbour’s sweet daughter at the same time). Do we still practice that? No, I don’t think so. After the prayers, the children do gang up like our fathers to vist each other’s house. But the key word here is each other’s house. We don’t make calls on strangers’ houses to collect duit raya. Our visit then was really to asked for forgiveness from elders whom we might have offended with our pranks the last year. How can we ask for forgiveness from perfect strangers. Sometimes we do get 5 cent or 10 cent, sometimes not but that was not the purpose of our visits.

Today, kids travel in groups by public transport to housing estates, 5 to 10 km away from their house, just to collect duit raya from strange households. Is this what the Hari Raya spirits is all about. Who taught the children this money worshipping culture. What are the ustaz and ustazah doing about this? Would you believe that there are even children who has the gall to tell the elders of the houses they visit that they are there to collect duit raya only. I had that experience once when I was celebrating the first day of raya at my in-laws.And I chased those future UMNO politicians from the house. Yes, I did that with a few choice words of advice to boot.

I pity my granddaughter and grandchildren to come. They and their friends won’t be able to experience the fun of blasting fire crackers and shooting fireworks into the air just because the government decides to ban it, All because of some educated stupid kids who blows off their fingers making their own fireworks. We played with crackers and fireworks like there was no tomorrow when we were young. We did not get our fingers blown off. I guess back then children were smart. Today …….no wonder we have the May Bank fiasco in Indonesia.

Hari Raya today is what it is because muslim do not understand the concept of Islam anymore. They do not understand the concept of fasting, of prayers, of marriage, etc. In fact I believe, most of them do not even understand the meaning of the word concept. What more can I say.

Until next time. Here’s to you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tuan, Selamat menyambut Hari raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.
Mana yang tersilap kata, tersilap kutuk atau tersilap silap adanya, maaf-maafkanlah.....MNF