By Sakmongkol Ak47
Some Muslims in Penang were highly agitated when the khatib ( the man who reads sermons) offered prayers for the Penang chief minister. In what manner was it said? Was LGE’s name mentioned in the context of something?
Actually we have not heard what actually transpired other than listening to a few emotionally charged statements from some people. Who are these people? If they are UMNO members, then their response was hardly surprising.
To me, the fearful responses thus far only reflect how desperate UMNO is in re capturing the Malay support in Penang. I won’t say re-capture Penang, because that is already impossible. what UMNO fears now is losing Malay support in Penang. That is like the end of the world.
What UMNO fears is a rising consciousness among Penang Malays that despite detaching themselves from UMNO, their lot can still be improved. This will be the beginning of a wider consciousness debunking the myth that equates loyalty and allegiance to this country to loyalty and allegiance to UMNO. The two things are not the same. If Penang is successful in demolishing this long perpetuated myth and this awareness becomes a national phenomenon, UMNO is in serious trouble.
Neither UMNO nor Zaid Hamidi who is the Pengerusi Perhubungan UMNO Penang have the answer to counter this rising tide. The only way they can hit back is by manipulating the sermon issue. You hope this will escalate into a tidal wave of resentment.
I say, if we truly love UMNO we should stop this childish and very shallow strategy. offer Penang Malays a better vision and promises of a better future. Zahid Hamidi is wishing he is not the Pengerusi Perhubungan UMNO Negeri. Ini kes nyaya kat chek no.
Since capturing Penang from Gerakan and UMNO in the last elections, the state government has made serious inroads into winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim community. Mosques and suraus have been receiving a lot of facilities and assistance from the state government. What is the civil thing to do if someone has given you assistance? You say thank you sir.
So the particular imam who created the present controversy who happens to be the brother of the Penang mufti was telling the congregation that Muslims should pray the good deeds undertaken by the state government under Lim Guan Eng are carried out continuously. Muslims are thanking the state government under LIM Guan Eng. In addition, Muslims should be hopeful that Lim Guan Eng embraces Islam. What probably happened was perhaps Guan Eng’s name was mentioned in that context.
To me, this is a stupid way of trying to leverage on a religious issue. The present controversy serves to further expose our hypocrisy. For so many years while Penang was under the JV government of Gerakan and UMNO, the lot of Penang Malays has not improved greatly. You even had a PM from Penang and he didn’t achieve anything much for Penang Malays. He could offer only some nebulous ideas about Islam. People wanted more physical improvements not more sermonizing.
Before that you also had a former deputy PM from Penang, who did not achieve much either. All he could do was gurmal here and gurmal there. Senator Koh Tsu Koon could never match what Guang Eng has achieved in 2 years with what he has done all those years while in power. So really, you don’t have any defense against what the present state government is doing.
The better action by Penang Malays is to throw out all those useless UMNO leaders who rose to prominence not through offering great ideas and thinking, but got where they are by mastering political intrigues. It’s the comeuppance for many of these hollow leaders. For years you have come up not through the brilliance of your ideas or competency but you rise because you are more skillful at demolishing your political rivals, you rise by stabbing the backs of your political comrades, you rise because you plot here and there- suddenly you find you don’t have the substance to sustain your political relevance.
So you have incompetent UMNO leaders thinking they can stand toe to toe with better qualified Gerakan leaders. Suddenly you realize, your skills in removing your own political comrades don’t work when dealing with people from other parties.
So I find the Penang UMNO leadership and its ‘spokesmen’ behaving hypocritical in using religion to counter the state government.
Let’s have some finesse fellers.