Tuesday, April 11, 2017

When grand mosques are marred by small-mindedness

EDIT: This article has been posted on FMT news, where they changed the title. Well, I like my original title better.

I’ve travelled to various parts of the world and wherever there are impressive places of worship, I try to make it a point to visit them. For example, in November 2014, I visited the stunningly magnificent Syeikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the largest mosque in the UAE.  More recently I got the chance to visit the Chengho mosque located in Palembang, Indonesia, which is much smaller but interesting because it is a mosque designed to look like a Chinese temple. In August 2012, I visited Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world as well as various massive temples in Cambodia, while in September 2016, I got the chance to explore both the Buddhist temple, Borobudur, as well as the Hindu temple compound of Prambanan. In January 2016, I took a trip to Cebu and Bohol Island at the Phillipines. Being a predominantly Catholic country, I visited as many historical Catholic churches as I had time for, including the Basilica del Sanyo Nino, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and my personal favorite, Santo Niño de Anda Parish Church. In all the sites I visited above, I took many photos and marveled at the intricate architecture as I tried to imagine the amount of time and effort put into creating these sites and monuments or worship.

My travels to various countries and worship sites has increased my appreciation for different cultures. However, that I myself do not follow any religion. I have a Christian background, having grown up Catholic, diverting then to a Baptist church, then eventually deciding (for personal reasons) that religion was not for me, although I still am open to the existence of God. Hence I have been happily agnostic for at least 5 years now.

Recently, some interesting recommendations in the third Selangor Manual Guideline and Selangor State Planning Standard came to light (see here). The recommendations include the following:

1. New non-Muslim places of worship must not be built within 50 metres of a home owned by a Muslim.
2. Planned non-Muslim places of worship in areas with a multi-racial community requires the consent of residents within a 200-metre radius before it is built.
3. New non-Muslim places of worship cannot be built in commercial areas.
4. New non-Muslim places of worship must be lower than the mosque nearest to it.
These restrictive guidelines on non-Muslims places of worship apparently managed to get into the approved manual (meant to be applied from 1st January 2017 onwards) due to an oversight by the Selangor Exco, Datuk Teng Chang Khim. He has since apologized for the oversight and pledged to review the manual.

I appreciate Datuk Teng’s admittance to the error and pledge to review the document, hence I do not see the need for him to voluntarily resign or even be pressured to do so. There are far worst offences committed in by politicians in this country, including corruption, for which said offenders should have resigned long ago but stubbornly refuse to do so. Nevertheless, my contention is with whoever is the unknown person who came up with such recommendations in the first place. What is the justification for having such recommendations?

Since there is and probably never will be any ‘official’ justification, allow me to break it down the implied intentions of these recommendations and why such intentions are ridiculous and abhorrent.

1) New non-Muslim places of worship must not be built within 50 metres of a home owned by a Muslim.
Given past incidences such as outcries at a church putting up a cross on their building at a Muslim area, I suppose this is an effort to either ‘protect’ Muslims from the slightest twinge of desire of apostasy due to regular exposure to non-Muslim activities or the sight of non-Muslim religious symbols. No doubt the few individuals who have participated in such outcries must have a very weak level of spirituality that the slightest form of exposure to other religions would sway their faith. This continued attempt to ‘protect’ Muslims from exposure to non-Muslim activities implies that the authorities have absolutely no trust in the level of Islamic education in Malaysia, that even after years of daily study, your fellow Muslims can still be so easily swayed. I believe the majority of Muslim Malays are more intelligent than that and I wonder why the authorities continue to treat them like fragile dandelions whose faith will crumble with one puff of breath. If indeed it the mere sight or sound or other religions is enough to make one want to convert, pray tell why is it the daily sounds of mosques all over the country have failed to sway me and other non-Muslims from converting into Islam? Is the faith or non-Muslims or even lack of spirituality of agnostics such as myself stronger than the faith of Muslims?

2) Planned non-Muslim places of worship in areas with a multi-racial community requires the consent of residents within a 200-metre radius before it is built; 3) New non-Muslim places of worship cannot be built in commercial areas.

If the intent is to reduce disruption to the lives of residents due to noise from the activities of such places of worship, as well as the traffic caused by worshippers in residential as well as commercial areas, then this would be a fair reason to impose this guideline….if they were being fairly implemented for all places of worship. Which isn’t the case, as these rules do not apply to Muslim places of worship. There is no logical reason why they shouldn’t as it can’t be denied that congested parking on roads near mosques on Friday afternoons is common, while noise is a regular feature of all mosques and surau, every day 5 times a day, even in the wee hours of the morning. Please do not misconstrue this as me complaining about the noise. I fully respect the practice and live in my own property right in the heart of Shah Alam, where I regularly listen to the call to prayers from at least 3 different surrounding mosques without issue. I am merely stating the fact, being which that the Muslim call to prayer is much louder and more frequent that whatever noise is produced from churches or temples, which at best only occurs weekly or every few days. Hence there is no reason why residents must give consent only for non-Muslim places of worship, which will in any case be fewer than Muslims places of worship, given that Malay are the majority. What if a particular community is dominantly non-Muslim and yet their houses of worship are not approved as there is no consent from a few selfish Muslims? How is this fair? Allocation for houses of worship should instead be done fairly based on actual population demographics rather than flimsy human opinions.

4) New non-Muslim places of worship must be lower than the mosque nearest to it.

This one really amazes me. How does the height of a place of worship in comparison to another have any effect whatsoever on anyone’s ability to worship or their level of spirituality? Is this implying that God is only be present in a tall and large mosque compared to smaller churches or temples? Does this mean God loves big mosques but abhors small little ‘suraus’? Are they saying that mosques must be taller so that the minarets of the mosque can allow Muslims to connect more easily to the Almighty, like mega sized data connection cables?
I have no issue with the construction of huge mosques. As I mentioned at the start, I greatly admire the architecture and work that goes into huge mosques like Abu Dhabi’s Syeikh Zayed Grand Mosque. But while is it fine that such grandeur comes from the desire to honour the God you worship, this does not give anyone the right to simultaneously belittle or undermine the Gods or spiritual beliefs of others. This is exactly the implied message behind this ridiculous and insulting recommendation. After almost 60 years of independence as a multicultural country, it is a big shame that there are people who are not only unable to encourage or appreciate the rich architecture of other cultures or religions, but can even resort to creating rules that undermine them.

As a non-religious person, the size and number of places of worship is of no benefit to me. So why do I speak out? I speak out because such rules are not only discriminatory, but they infringe on a basic human right, which is freedom of religion and the right to have adequate access to places of worship. I speak out because I empathize with fellow Malaysians who are subjected to such rules although if Malaysia aims for developed status, minority religions should be offered more protection, not less. Such understanding of basic human rights and empathy should supposedly come naturally to followers of religions, as it is commonly purported that all religions teach their followers to be good. Hence to the person or people who came up with these recommendations, please be ashamed of yourselves that it would take a supposedly less moral non-religious person to explain human rights and empathy to you. Do not allow people like me to lose respect for your beautifully built grand mosques simply because of your small mindedness.

Me at Abu Dhabi’s Syeikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Appreciating the beautiful architecture


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Meet Alvin Tan's extremist fanboy who's worst than the Muslims Alvin hates (& doesn't know how surnames work)

PREAMBLE: I've edited this from my previous version published on 19 February. The earlier version mainly focused on the amazingly stupid trolling comments of his fanboy, but now I figured it's equally hilarious to show what a hypocrite Alvin Tan was to allow his fanboy's behaviour. This is what you get when you proclaim to be an activist and fail horribly to walk the talk.

Who the hell is Alvin Tan?
No one you really need to care about, really. Most Malaysians and probably quite a few Singaporeans would know about the infamous Alvin Tan, but in case you don't, here's a super quick run down:
- He was studying law in Singapore but threw away his education coz' of a sex blog he did with ex-girlfriend Vivien Lee, which resulted in him being stripped of a scholarship
- Made himself more infamous in Malaysia by regularly poking fun at Islam, the pinnacle of which was posting a pic on Facebook of himself and Vivien eating 'bak kut teh' (meat bone tea, a Chinese dish with pork) and inviting Muslims to eat it...during Ramadhan. The pic was deemed seditious and an insult to Islam. Malaysian netizens, both Muslim and non-Muslim went on a field day thrashing the couple, they were reported to the police and the case went to court.
- Alvin fled to the USA, leaving Vivien behind to deal with the mess on her own. She was subsequently jailed for 6 months last year, and while his ex-girlfriend was languishing in jail due to his bad idea of a funny photo, Alvin was busy making money sticking his junk into other woman in the US (i.e. making porn). At the same time posting more ridiculous stunts such as mocking the Islamic call to prayer (the Azan) and posting a pic of himself using a page of the Quran as toilet paper.
- His Facebook account has since been shut down due to too many people reporting him, but he uses a Twitter account, which is now mostly used to promote whatever sad excuse of porn he makes.

If you can't tell by how I write, I'm far from impressed by Alvin Tan's behaviour, having critisized him on his FB page myself before it (thankfully) got shut down. At some point, he called himself a freedom of speech activist, apparently saying that his intention "was to expose the extremism and violence that have become commonplace in Malaysia for many years, so much so that the label 'model moderate Muslim nation' should no longer be bestowed upon her"

Gee, doesn't that just sound so noble? Except that the truth is his insulting stunts had nothing to do with exposing extemism or fighting for freedome of speech and everything to do with getting cheap publicity for himself. Proven by the fact that he does nothing to rein back his supporters who go on cursing and cyber bullying tirades on his critics or anyone who has a view opposing to his to get them to shut up. This happened to me before when I critisized him on his Facebook, and this again in my latest experience on Twitter with another one of Alvin Tan's unruly fanboys going by the handle EricDane9. This experience though, was worthy of a blog post just coz' in his attempts to troll me, the idiot fanboy displayed such amazing stupidity that I found just absolutely hilarious and deserving of eternal enshrinement on the internet. So the first part of this post is just about this whole hilarious exchange over my surname, while the 2nd part is dedicated to calling out Alvin Tan for the hypocrite he is for allowing such foul brained people to run their cyber tongues in his supposed defense.

Here's the idiot who doesn't know how people get their surnames

I was not a regular user of Twitter until recently (mainly to see the funny things Trump rants about on his Twitter feed). It so happened a tweet from Alvin Tan about prostitutes showed up on my feed. Apparently when I started up my account, for God knows what reason I decided to follow him and forgot about it, and so was wondering why on earth I was seeing his tweets (I've unfollowed him once I realized this).

So anyway, I decided to shoot him back with a retort.

That led to a bit of a debate between us, which fortunately did not degrade to insults, so I'll say Alvin deserves *some* props for being able to at least be civil. But then along comes one of Alvin's fanboys going by the Twitter handle Eric Dane (@EricDane9) who showed no such maturity, calling me a bitch right off the bat and falling on the failed logic that the only reason I must be highlighting the issue of forced prostitution is because I must have been one myself. Sigh.

If one were to curiously browse through Eric Dane's Twitter feed, you'd find it disturbing and strange due to the fact that all, and I mean, ALL his tweets have one and only one purpose, i.e. the hero worship, adoration and what seems to be the homosexual love of Alvin Tan, who he likes to called Meat Bone King / Porky (referring to the 'Bak Kut Teh' incident) and Pokemen (I have no idea why). Some examples of his eyebrow raising hero worship/gay love tweets:

The whole feel of this Eric Dane's feed is that he's like an overexcited lovesick puppy following Alvin, tweeting messages of adoration in the hopes of a reply. More amusingly, it seems Alvin only ever took the time to respond directly to ONE of Eric's puppy love tweets, but usually it's just an acknowlegement in the form of a like. An apparent approval of the attention/ gay love sent by Eric Dane (perhaps a sign that Alvin will diversity in his porn in the future? Who knows?).

So back to the main topic, if you noticed in Eric's 1st tweet to me above, he referred to me as Carol WONG, although my name is clearly stated as Carol NG. And he called me Wong a few more times after that, leading me to assume he was being daft for misreading the spelling of my surname and led to the exchanges below.

At this point, it finally dawned on me that this Eric Dane was not misspelling my very simple 2-letter surname. But he actually believed that I had wrongly translated my Chinese surname to 'Ng' when it should be 'Wong'.

My surname. As in not even my given name, which at least my parents got to decide when I was born (even that, I can't change or decide how it's spelt), but my father's family name.... and his father's and his father's for who knows how many generations.

And Eric Dane who apparently has no clue how surnames work, believed that I had made the silly mistake of wrongly spelling my own surname....

Well, I had initially assumed from his name that his ignorance is prooooobably because he's American or non-Chinese. But even that theory was shot down, coz' his Twitter feed shows that he CAN WRITE CHINESE!

So Eric Dane knows Chinese. And he follows Alvin Tan, so is most likely a Malaysian or Singaporean. And yet has seemingly never heard of anyone with the surname 'Ng', which is fairly common in these countries....

Ok, so when I had gotten round to picking my jaw up from the floor from the dumbfounding stupidity displayed, I then got round to proving to Eric Dane just what an ignorant twerp he was, with some help from Google.

Also screenshots of random people on Facebook named 'Ng':

And even some excellent statistics from Wikipedia on the most common Chinese surnames, showing that 'Ng' is ranked the 4th most common Chinese surname in Singapore:

After all that, anyone with any shred of intelligence or maturity would surely admit defeat after being proven so wrong about the validity of my own surname, right? So I was gracious and gave him a chance to redeem himself.

Buuuuuttt as you might have guessed since you're reading this story, Eric Dane, far from admitting defeat at his proven stupidity, barrelled on and proved even more what a pig head he is!

Yes sirree, that's Eric Dane, insulting the surname 'Ng', used by about 106,200 Singaporean Chinese, and probably around 295,000 Malaysian Chinese (if the same percentage of 4.2% is applied to the approximate 7 million Chinese population of Malaysia) by calling it a CRAPPY translation!

Here's what makes his ignorance especially funny (bear with me as I go on geek mode, coz I quite enjoy researching useless facts. Plus this would be a fun fact for those who don't know the history of the surname 'Ng'). The name 'Ng' is a Cantonese, Shanghainese and Hakka transliteration of the Chinese surnames 吳/吴 (Pinyin transliteration for Mandarin equivalent: Wú) and 伍 (Mandarin Wǔ) meaning "five". In Hokkien (Taiwanese) and Teochew, Ng corresponds to the surname 黃/黄 (Mandarin Huáng) meaning "yellow"; or to 阮 (Mandarin Ruǎn). As my father is Hokkien, my surname 'Ng' corresponds to 黃/黄 (Mandarin Huáng), while 'Wong' is another Cantonese variant of 'Huang'! Meaning to say our 'genius', Eric Dane who soooooo adamantly insisted that my 'proper' surname is 'Wong' was actually only stating another variant of my family's actual proper surname (Huáng).

Gosh, man, if you want to troll me, at least do so with some semblance of intelligence. Not by displaying an extreme lack of awareness of the fact that people don't decide how their own surnames are spelt, and moreover with the incorrect version of the surname.... LOL 😂

Here's the same idiot being more extremist than the Muslims Alvin hates

So Alvin has a history of berating Muslims as being extremist and hateful, which he attempts to prove through his dumb stunts insulting Islam to instigate Muslims, particularly Malays, to post hate speech comments and death threats against him and uses them as prove on how horrible the states of Malaysia is. My take on this is, yes, there are extremist Muslims, but there are plenty of very down-to-earth and wonderful Muslims who are good people. And by collectively insulting Islam, he insults all Muslims, further fueling the idea of 'them (non-Muslims)-vs-us (Muslims)' even if that feeling was not there before. And even worse, his moronic antics played into the hands of political parties in Malaysia that actually promote racial division for their own gain.

Yet for someone who claims to want speak out against such extremism and clamping down on freedom of speech, he chose to remain ignorant to the extremism displayed by some of his followers, such as EricDane9 who was not only spouting derogatory comments to me in an attempt to shut me up (didn't work, by the way), but also spouted derogatory comments about others. Admitedly, the rest of these tweets came when I decided to put the troll in his place and troll him right back.

So here are the many displays of hate/extremism showed by EricDane9 which Alvin Tan conveniently ignored (be warned that these are very offensive):

1) When the idiot made racist comments about Indians

FYI for those in other countries, the term 'pariah' is very derogatory for Malaysian Indians.

 2) When he berated me nonstop with offensives names for debating with Alvin about his tweet (i.e. practising my freedom of speech)

Insults included but not limited to ass, dipshit, full of shit, twat (already shown in the screenshots above) and his all time favorite insult, made obvious below:

Btw, this is just sample. If I posted it all, it would be a few pages long post in itself. Lol

The one below was probably the worse one, but at least it was some refreshing diversity:

Oh, and then there was the insult about my parents. How lovely.

For the record, Alvin, if you're someone who claims to promote freedom of speech, but allow your disgusting fans to insult your critics into shutting up, you are not promoting freedom of speech and it just shows you can't handle any kind of debate or challenge to your opinions.

3) When the idiot showed his sick mind was full of nothing but sex, rape and incest

His concern for my sex life is heartwarming, considering it's from someone who never experienced it, and why he can only live vicariously through Alvin's bad porn
If anyone knows EricDane9 and shows these tweets of his to anyone that remotely matters to him, I will love you forever. Though I would not be surprised if such a creature doesn't care about anybody but himself
Clearly whoever this troll EricDane9 is, he has no respect for women and has a demented mind to even suggest incest in anyone's family. Of course this is very same kind of sick mentality displayed by some sick extremist Muslims that think it is acceptable to rape their own daughters, marry young girls, and basically have no respect to women. In other words, EricDane9 displays all the makings of the very Islamic extremists that Alvin claims to hate. Yet Alvin was tagged in so many of the tweets above and said nothing, and I mean, NOTHING to stop this idiot from continuing on his tirade.

So I have to say thank you to @EricDane9, who while so many time rambled on about me exposing myself, instead helped me to expose just what an amazing hypocrite his beloved porky head, Alvin Tan is. While getting me free traffic to my blog too! Oh, the joy!

As a somewhat minor saving grace, once I pointed out that incest, insults and name calling is also a favorite activity of the very same Islamic terrorists/fanatics which Alvin Tan hates, that Eric Demented Dane off to delete ALL of his tweets to me. Perhaps because he actually realized how idiotic he sounded and came to his senses. Perhaps my comment about how his parents must have dumped him (that's how he doesn't know that people don't choose their own surnames!) was true and it hurt his feelings. Maybe Alvin told him off on another platform, and the retard was forced to retreat with his tail between his legs.  Perhaps it is some lame attempt to make it sound like I'm a crazy person talking to myself on Twitter.

Whatever it is, I am feeling quite victorious that I successfully out-trolled the worst troll I've encountered in my online life into oblivion, without so much as a curse word too. And yes, all my tweets to him are still on my profile, unlike his, coz I'm not a coward like EricDane9, ashamed to expose his offensive behaviour to the world. However, if you are really curious, you can still see most of EricDane9's brainless tirade against me on the cached version of his Twitter page (just Google "EricDane9", click the dropdown menu on the twitter link and select 'Cached'). Hmm, you can't hide idiot behaviour on cached pages!

If you think people like @EricDane9 shouldn't be on Twitter, please take one minute to click on his profile and report him to Twitter for offensive behaviour. Thank you and let's make the internet troll free! 😊