Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hello Ibrahim Ali. Now this is the proper way to do it.

While the Malay right wing group Perkasa has fallen into controversy for distributing ‘white ang pow’ in their open house programme, Islamic party PAS has won cheers among Facebook users for respecting Chinese culture during Chinese New Year celebrations.

A few photos of the opposition party’s Chinese New Year programmes have gone viral in Facebook, especially a photo which depicts a grassroots leader from Mersing, Johor, giving an ang pow to a pork seller.

NONEOther photos which have gone viral include Selangor PAS exco member Iskandar Abdul Samad giving out ang pow in front of a pork stall and a “green lion” performance in an open house function held by Perlis PAS.
(Green is the symbolic colour for PAS.)

The Facebook users were comparing PAS with Perkasa, praising the opposition party for its open-mindedness and understanding of Chinese culture.

“This is a scene which MCA will not want to see, its Islamic state claims will be useless,” said Denise Yee on Facebook.

“Mersing PAS division chief (Rosalan Mamat) and Cempaka state assemblyperson (Iskandar Abdul Samad) is greeting happy Chinese New Year to a pork seller and distributing Chinese mandarin, they didn’t distribute ‘white ang pow’ to Chinese community,” he added.

No problem for Chinese to eat pork

When contacted by Malaysiakini, Rosalan Mamat seemed surprised to know that his photo was circulating on the internet, and he thanked the Facebook users for their praises.

The 51-year-old businessman said the photo was taken when he and other Pakatan leaders were distributing ang pow, Chinese mandarin and Chinese New Year cards to the public at the Mersing market on Jan 21, two days before Chinese New Year.

NONEWhen asked why he didn’t evade the pork seller who is deemed not “halal” by certain Muslims, Roslan explained that this is because Islam never forbids non-Muslims from taking pork.

“There is no problem for Chinese to eat pork, only Muslims cannot eat pork. We must respect Chinese culture and this is their right.

“Only Umno and MCA people will twist the facts, claiming that when PAS grabs power, they will not allow Chinese to eat pork,” said Roslan.

He added that this was the first time for the Pakatan divisions to hold such programmes together. However, PAS leaders have been visiting and greeting the Chinese community during the last couple of Chinese New Year celebrations.

Green lion dance at state headquaters

Meanwhile, Perlis PAS chief Hashim Jasin said its was not the first time that the party had invited a ‘green lion’ to perform at their function.

He revealed that PAS had in fact featured lion dance performances at some of the party’s dinner functions in Arau and Sanglang in the last two or three years.

He, however, said that this was the first time (Jan 29) the party and its supporters held the Chinese New Year open house event and invited a ‘green lion’ to perform at the state headquarters.

It is understood that the ‘green lion’ was invited from a sports club in Kedah.

Asked why they wanted a lion dance performance, Hashim explained that they were following Kelantan PAS government’s footsteps, which always held multi-cultural performances.

“Not only Chinese, the Malays also like lion dance performances. It is very attractive,” he added.

Asked if the performances were held to gain the support of the Chinese community, he admitted that the people would be able to see how PAS interacts with different religions and races, contrary to the claims made by Umno that PAS will “chop Chinese hands and legs” when they grabbed power.

[Source: Mkini]

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