We are Malay-Muslims, we are entitled

Syahredzan Johan asks during this holy month, are Malay-Muslims entitled to better rights than others?

Photo credit: http://www.techwithus.com/2012/07/6-ways-to-survive-16-hours-of-ramadan-fasting/ | Is it time to have that sandwich?

So you are fasting. The sun is bearing down on you, your stomach is growling and your throat is parched. It is only 12.30 in the afternoon; you still have hours to go before you may break your fast. All of a sudden, a non-Muslim person appears before you, enjoying an icy cold can of your favourite cola. He looks like he is savouring the cola. You could imagine the sensation of that very same cola filling your throat with diabetes-inducing caffeine goodness. So you flare up. How dare this person drink in front of you? Does he have no respect for the holy month of Ramadhan, to be wantonly quenching his thirst in full view of Muslims? Does he not know that Muslims form the majority of this country and therefore must be respected?

This is the basic premise prevalent amongst many Malay-Muslims in this country. Muslims form the majority and therefore they are entitled to be respected. Malay-Muslim sensitivities must not be offended; the Malay-Muslim public must be protected from harm, confusion and many other bad and insidious things that may threaten the ummah. In recent times, these deep rooted sentiments are brought to the fore by opportunistic politicians. Thus it appeared as if Malay-Muslims have become more and more intolerant of minorities.

Malay-Muslims are entitled not to have a Hindu temple in the vicinity of their housing estate. Malay-Muslims are entitled to dictate what names others may use to invoke the Creator. Malay-Muslims are entitled to stop the sale of alcohol beverages and deny the establishment of a cinema in Malay majority areas.

Every Friday, Malay-Muslims are entitled to abandon their civic consciousness and park all over the place as if the streets belong to them. Malays-Muslims are entitled to blare religious ceramahs to every corner of the neighbourhood and into the wee hours of the night.

The prime minister must be Malay-Muslim, the civil service must be filled with Malay-Muslims and government bodies are seen as Malay institutions, tasked first and foremost to safeguard Malay and Muslim interests.

This premise of entitlement has also been used to justify the persecution and discrimination against sexual and religious minorities, purportedly because Article 3 provides that Islam is the religion of the Federation. So we say that LBGTs do not enjoy protection of the Constitution because their sexual orientations are against Islam, although we conveniently forget that other things, like gambling, are also forbidden in Islam but are still legal in this country. Books are seized and banned and fatwas are made absolute. In a recent decision, the Federal Court went so far to say that the integrity of the religion needs to be safeguarded at all costs. Does ‘at all costs’ include the supremacy of the Federal Constitution as the highest law of the land?

Make no mistake, this is not about Islam. It is about how we justify the discrimination, persecution and blatant disregard for fundamental liberties, all in the name of religion. It is how we view and treat others as inferior to us because we believe that we are entitled to do so. We permit transgressions because we labour under this presumption that Malay-Muslims, by virtue of being Malays and Muslims, are entitled to the best of the country as they occupy a higher standing than the rest of the rakyat out there.

There is no legal or constitutional basis for this. Article 3 does not make Malaysia an Islamic state and Article 4 expressly provides that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  Article 8 provides that every citizen is equal before the law and enjoys equal protection of the law. The oft quoted Article 153 does not make Malay-Muslims superior in law or fact, it only provides for the reservation of quotas for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak in certain matters.

So what if Muslims are the majority? We have such a flawed understanding of democracy; as if in a democracy, the rights of minorities are inferior to the rights of the majority. That is why we have a Constitution, which protects and guarantees the fundamental liberties of citizens from the tyranny of the majority.

We find ourselves up in arms at the fate of Muslims minorities in other countries like Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar and China.  We invoke freedom of religion when we hear of minarets being banned in Switzerland or burqas being banned in France. But if the rights of Muslim minorities should be protected in the face of the majority, why is it that we do not have the same vigour to protect the rights our non-Muslim minorities? Why must the rights of others here only be exercised if we deem those rights as exercisable?

So before you take offence at someone who is drinking in front of you while you are fasting, take a step back and think of your religion. Put aside your sense of entitlement and think; just because you are fasting, does it mean that everyone else around you must stow away their food and drinks?

Remember what Islam has instilled in you, not what Muslims have told you.


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Syahredzan Johan adalah seorang peguam muda dan seorang rakan kongsi di sebuah firma guaman di Kuala Lumpur. Dia melihat dirinya sebagai seorang pengkritik politik dan pengulas sosial. Tetapi dia sebenarnya hanyalah seorang warga Malaysia yang mempunyai terlalu banyak pendapat. Dia adalah seorang yang patriotik, walaupun bukan dengan cara biasa seperti mengibar bendera. Dia percaya Malaysia mempunyai potensi yang hanya dapat direalisasi sekiranya rakyatnya belajar bersatu-padu dan bukannya berpecah-belah. Ikutilah Syah di Refleksi Minda.

Posted on 1 August 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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588 Responses to We are Malay-Muslims, we are entitled

  1. Anisah karim

    This is the story of a Majusi (fire worshiper) at the time of the companions of the Prophet. He has a Muslim neighbour. One day in the month of Ramadan he saw her son eating an apple in public. He scolded him. His son said, “why can’t I eat, I am not a Muslim”. The Majusi said, “But we are neighbours with Muslims. So I want to respect them.”

    After the death of the Majusi, a religious person  dreams of the Majusi in heaven on a beautiful throne. 
    The religious person asked “how did you enter heaven when you worship the fire?”

    The Majusi said, “at the time I almost died I heard a voice, ‘do not you let him die other than as a Muslim. Indeed, he honored the Ramadan month.

    Indeed, respect cannot be demanded, it is something to be offered.  And any good deed is sure to be rewarded, insyaAllah. 

  2. nyonya harun

    To me, if I am fasting and someone else eat s in front of me, i couldn't be bothered as I fast because I am observing Allah's words, and I can endure all tests to see if I am a true follower of Islam, for those who make a lot of fuss when someone eats in front of them, I think they are immatured to demand others to fast as what they are doing! Let's tolerate the people around us and be kind and sensible, the world will be YOURS!

  3. Shah

    Ape yang ko merepek ni Loyar Buruk? This was never a case la, I've never seen in my whole life before that a muslim person scolded anyone or demanded to be respected just because the non muslim's ate or drink in front of them during ramadhan month la.
    Don't believe me go to your nearest Ramadhan bazaar. What I've seen lately is the chinese community condemning the act of some non-muslim who do not respect the muslims during Ramadhan month, it is out of mutual respect.
    as a muslim myself i dont get angry when the non-muslim ate or drink infront of me, heck even "korek hidung" infront of me is a mou man tai act. FYI to the non-muslims, muslims are not allowed to dig their nose during fasting, but that does not mean no one can dig their nose in the public, but will you do it?????

    This sort of article does not reflect the current situation we're all in. In multiracial country like Malaysia, we have mutual respect to each other, not because the other race demanded it or what, but it is out of a mutual respect, same case if you were to go to a chinse funeral and u wore a multicolor outfit, now is that ok? no one will scold you, no one will demand you to change your cloth but dont you think it is offensive? we all now that we should respect each other's sensitivity, and that is why we dont do it, that's the beauty of our people, we respect each other out of a mutual respect and not because the other races demanded it…. cheers.

    • Khaliq

      You can pick your nose during fasting bro

      • Shah

        Batal la pose bro…. bukan batal, tapi tak afdal. kan? =)

        tapi aku rasa we all muslim, we never demanded that we should be respect during fasting month kan? abit misleading article ni……. macam memfitnah aku pun ada rasanya….. tapi tak tau la apa tujuan author ni…

        but the point is, we nvr at any point in our life demanded anyone to respect us during fasting month kan????
        Just the non muslim, out of mutual respect diorang mmg respect us by not eating in front of us…

        • Abon

          Some people do.. From my experience, not some people, but most people in Malaysia actually. This is a very good article for all those sensitive Muslim in Malaysia. Maybe not for you though.

          By the way, it;s ok to pick your nose during fasting, tak batal pun.

        • zuhair

          korek hidung takde kaitan ngan afdal @ batal. memang tak batal. dan takde efek kat puasa pun.

      • alazaruss

        I agree with you. No hadith says that picking your nose invalids the fast. If I am wrong please show me the proof.

        • Shah

          Can bro, as long as it is not "bernafsu".
          But I'm not in the right position to answer that question, perhaps during terawih later I will ask the imam of his oppinion. tapi aku rasa walaupun aku tak korek sebab takut batal, whether it will batal or not, it doesnt hurt kot.

    • MsAku78

      I agree with you Shah. Don't know what's wrong with this guy and his stupid article.

    • therealhajar

      I don't know ANY Melayu Muslim close to me who behaves in this way. But this article is not about you or just the people you know, it's the wider community.Reading some of the statements from people in authority and you just have to read ugly comments online, showing this sense of entitlement, clearly there ARE people who behave that way. If anything, a lot of our leadership perpetuate this behaviour. Definitely we are multiracial and don't all behave that way, but there are people that do and they should be discouraged.
      I do think a lot of scrutiny has been unfairly placed on the wider Malay community because of a few very loud bigots. But the loud bigots, allowed to speak often enough can influence people. I think some awareness of this can only help.

  4. KLight

    "Don't judge me because I sin differently from you" – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

  5. alazaruss

    Malaysia has been independent for more than 50 years. but how many converts are there to Islam. Not many. Reason being that the behavior of certain Muslims puts them off. Not the teachings of Islam.

  6. Fazil Irwan

    Great last liner. Kudos bro.

  7. Noorshin Ng

    It is alright for non Muslims to eat and drink in front of Muslims. No problems at all. My non Muslim family used to have dinner and meals in front of me. I do not feel any discomfort. After all, I am going to break my fast at dusk and really appreciate and enjoy my food then. And we already had a breakfast at down so why they trauma? Now that my parents and brother all embraced Islam through the years, we enjoy fasting and breaking fast together.

  8. NurL

    "Fasting also you can't do properly then why you become a Muslim?" The last I check most Muslims in Malaysia were born Muslim, not that they have a choice to "become" a Muslim.

    Islam is about "niat", if a person fast because fear of how other muslims look at him, then what's the point when he fear human more than God? I don't mind if someone eat and drink before me when I fast. Fasting is a personal experience and only God can judge how good my fast is. I really don't understand this holier-than-thou opinion than fasting muslims must be better muslim than those who don't fast, just like the concept of hijabi muslimah is better muslim than those not wearing hijab.

    At the end of the day, I only answer to Allah and no one else.

  9. Jam Masin

    True Fasting

    Isaiah 58:4-7
    Amplified Bible (AMP)
    4 [The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high.
    5 Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
    6 [Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke?
    7 Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house—when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?

    Matthew 6:16-18
    Amplified Bible (AMP)
    16 And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy and [a]sour and [b]dreary like the hypocrites, for they put on a dismal countenance, that their fasting may be apparent to and seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward [c]in full already.
    17 But when you fast, perfume your head and wash your face,
    18 So that your fasting may not be noticed by men but by your Father, Who sees in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.

  10. GUEST

    feel the LOVE LOVE LOVE. Selamat Hari Raya!

  11. Tamil Alagan

    i really don't understand about people like talk about race or religion, why don't talk about malaysian first……

  12. Claire

    Thank you for this article. You have put the frustrations I've longed to express over the years in words.

  13. Dwen Celestial

    Please separate race and religion from the topic. You make sound as if the Malay race is all so superior, where as the other races are inferior. Have you thought about Chinese-Muslims? Kadazan-Muslims? Iban-Muslims? Are we not entitled as well? We are not Malays, but we are Malaysians. This is a very confusing article where someone might not get your point and could lead to racial remarks.

  14. SSMAS

    Thanks, Shah for the article. But so far, I've never seen or known any Muslims who get angry because someone eats or drinks in front of them during ramadhan. As long as they don't ask us to eat along when they know we're fasting, i think it's ok. sometimes even kids eat and drink in front of us during ramadhan and when someone is fasting, even lollipops look tempting enough. but that's the point of fasting, holding oneself from desires and being patient and tolerant. Perhaps, just to be courtious, a non-Muslim may eat somewhere else if they want, but otherwise it;s still fine. :)

  15. Lanz

    Salam Sejahtera & Salam Ramadhan,

    Dear brothers and sisters …. of all religion and walk of life ……

    First and foremost, I would like to thank bro LB for your post and your stand and philosophy ….. everyone of us are made different not difficult …. and the difference should be respected.

    I am born hindu ….. however I have been fasting for the past 15 years …..which all started with a muslim friend of mine complaining that they are weak and since I can eat and drink I should or able to do hard work/labour work …..

    So being young and 'pantang di cabar' I took the challenge in 1997 to fast together with my Muslim friends …and till todate I am still fasting …. I am not here to question if my other muslim friend fast or not …coz its between them and god …….

    However I would like to pledge to my muslim friend … do respect your other friends who are fasting to feel the same or near same 'dugaan' Ramadhan.

    I would like to take this opportunity to advise non muslim friends to be sensitive as well coz it does not hurt to be one …especially respecting our and other religion.

    With this I wish all muslim friends a very happy fasting and Selamat menyambut Aidilfitri.

    Love….Peace …..Harmony ………………

  16. Teratakpakwok

    Such a stupid article

  17. Merlin

    Like I always said, what maketh a religion is the followers. If a religion is perceived to be "strangely" self absorbed centric and intolerant of others, it has failed the acid test of being a religion.

    • This book is both informative, and an easy, plenaast read. In sharp contrast to several other books I’ve read, Meyerowitz doesn’t force feed raw food diets or fasting down your throat with threats of disease and disaster. His approach is simple, direct and well-organized. The book begins with a discussion of what fasting is and why it can be beneficial and continues on to descriptions of how to begin, how long to continue and how to come off a fast. Other important sections include a systematic description of how the body detoxifies, what to expect as this occurs and what can be done to help the body during the cleansing process. All in all I found this to be a well-balanced and informative book that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is new to the concept of water or juice fasting.

    • NIM

      -_- Uhuh… so basically you're blaming the religion for the people' wrong doings? So tell me, which religion (including the atheists) that has no such people in it?

      And if you perceive a religion by others' perception, then that's the mind of a follower or basically what you call a sheep. If you want to get to know a girl, a religion, a company, go find out yourself. What other people thinks about something they themselves don't know most of the time are totally untrue or contains only small amount of the truth.

  18. Mei Ying

    Thank you for the post. Last year, while I was taking part in a treasure hunt, I was wearing a spagetti strap top and jeans and running around the street under the hot sun to look for clues for my answers. My friend and I stopped and sat be the sidewalk of a bank to look at our notes and discuss the clues given. A malay man who was at the ATM suddenly started criticising loudly to a malay lady behind him that we are rude for wearing such flesh-baring clothes in public in the month of Ramadhan. I was just completely blown by it. I didn't know I needed a change of wardrobe for a certain month each year… I have always been careful to not eat or drink in front of Muslims during Ramadhan but wearing 'appropriate clothings' has never crossed my mind as being an issue I need to look into.

  19. Cee Choo

    Thank you. Moderate, right-thinking Muslims like you (whom i feel are in the majority) should speak up more. The voices of the more extreme Muslims often take take centre-stage. They give Islam a poor image.

  20. SSS

    Its a simple thing, avoid situation where people are eating and drinking…. The only reason people object is because they themselves have the temptation to eat and drink and brings about a desire to do so in them..because we are humans after all….

    My only objection arises when in a restaurant such as an Arab restaurant, where it is understood that Muslims are present and waiting to break their fast..you have people who come in at that very moment and actually eat…… this I am talking roughly around 7pm, that for me is quite disrespectful considering they see people with foods in their plate and waiting…..and they come and eat……the worst part is, I have seen plenty of Muslims who are not fasting do that as well…

    On that note, there are many tolerant people as well who understand that people are fasting and are respectful towards their peers and colleagues ….

    Its mere human nature that dictates this you know….

    Don't even know why you are saying ''malay-Muslim'' …as if any other Muslims are any different…. it puts a bad name to the Malays and that is not a good thing at all …. Discriminating an entire race just because of few or even many jerks doesn't make them all bad, its called, discrimination .

    What tolerance are you talking about? Man..KFC, MCD, Pizza Hut, mamak's etc etc have Malays working in them through the day as they fast……………..
    IF that was sooo much of a big issue for them, surely most of them would have stopped working and you know, start protesting and etc etc…
    Sheesh, that's bad writing mate…

    • Ethicist

      SSS,

      To raise some ethical points which hasn't been mentioned yet here, why should those who are not fasting (whether Muslims or non-Muslims) feel obliged to delay having their meal when they are in fact in a restaurant which is the place to buy and eat food and they are legitimate paying customers?

      Would you then argue that it would be noble of the restaurant owner to decide to suspend serving food until the time of iftar, thus preventing non-fasters the chance to disrespect those who are fasting?

      Could it also be said that those occupy seats while waiting to break fast are being disrespectful by denying business from the restaurant owner? You know how there are fasters who physically occupy or "book" seats at restaurants one hour before the time to break fast and just sit there, occupying the entire restaurant while waiting for time to pass and denying customers who actually want to order, pay and eat immediately but can't because there are no seats available?

      What do you think?

    • john

      i don agree with u…why shud a non fastin person felt t need to respek others fastin when we are not doin it deliberately.remember fastin is about 'overcomin or resistin temptation'. onli then it can b meaninful.menolak nafsu bila tercabar…it is not about others not respektin u or not considerate or etc…it is between u n God(Allah)..a lot of ppl don seem to understan why tey fast…tat is why ey r so angri with others…u tink God is please???no common sense talkin about tis topik of respek tis n tat…T fundamental reason fo 'fastin' shud b remembered at all times.then u wont feel disapointed or felt dishonored…point fo all to think about…..

      • NIM

        Uh, dude. It's called manner, courtesy or being polite.

        It's alright for you to eat anything you want in front of sick/fasting/vegetarian/Hindu people who are only allowed to eat certain food or none at all. But isn't it more polite or kind of you if you could refrain from doing that in front of them? That is all.

        You're right about some Muslims are angry because they don't understand why they are fasting but most of us are not like that (at least, people I know and around me). Most of us are very tolerant about other people eating in front of us as long you're not mocking or being disrespectful to our religion (wishing us Happy Ramadhan while eating non-Halal food, really?).

        So, I don't think you're wrong for doing what you do but I don't think other people are wrong for wishing people like you to be more polite either. The ones who understand why they are fasting would only feel disappointed and won't actually say it out loud or get angry at you though.

        So yeah.. just more points to ponder.

        • Peter

          NIM, if I want to meditate, I will certainly not expect other people to show 'manners, courtesy or being polite' in the form of keeping quiet so that I achieve my goal. I would rather go find a place where it is quiet for the simple reason it is personal intent and therefore, others should not be compromised because of me.

          • NIM

            Peter,

            When I'm fasting, I do not expect people to stop eating in front of me. I'm just saying that sometimes wishful thinking do come up and that's not wrong. Being nicer, or more polite to others is not wrong either. That's all.

    • denn

      Don't really know why one need to Puasa until so difficult to the extent of curtailing every body's freedom and convenience. Kalau tak mampu atau tak sanggup, lebih baik jangan paksa sendiri untuk berpuasa bcos it has got no value in doing it. If you want to beribadah, please do it at your own cost and inconvenience sebagai satu persembahan to God from your sincere heart. God deserve a sincere Puasa not one that is full of complaints and yang tak sanggup.

  21. stan

    You are one of those who make Msia a better land to live. Continue on.

  22. groupon

    This is an exc ellent article. During ramadan, I try my level best to respect muslims but Im amazed at the disrespect they have for other races. They are so shallow and sticky sometimes. I live in a condo with 2 small kids and they have the loudspeaker blaring at my window all the time Sometimes a child becomes the muezzin and he screams so loud that its unbearable, even an educated malay,my neighbour complains. Afterwards comes the sermons over the loudspeaker and it goes on for hours sometimes.
    The irony is everytime they come out of prayers, they seem to be very angry and anti social and give me the impression as though they are already cleansed.and we not.
    However there are also the goodones. Theres one person who brought kueh and gave to my kids and that I respect.

  23. telur dua

    One word, wisdom.

  24. SY New

    Hear hear!

  25. Sam

    i agree with this article

    but i think non muslims who do eat or drink in front of muslims during ramadhan are plain ignorant.

    we wont lose anything being sensitive and not making it anymore difficult than it already is for them.

    Cheers

    • this proves that you're not sincere in fasting, because you seem jealous that they have the pleasure in eating while you're not.

    • Irulan

      Wow, that's a really obnoxious comment and I'm a Muslim (albeit not a good one). It's a test of willpower to be surrounded by people eating during Ramadhan. How weak it is to be affected by it. I think any Muslim so offended by others eating in front of them during Ramadhan are 1) easily tempted (hence, the ease at being offended) and 2) incredibly fixated with food (which is incredibly frivolous).

      We need to get over ourselves. We need to get off our high horses. Oft times, we impose ourselves on others, forcing our ways down non-muslims' throat. Where is the fairness in that? "There is no compulsion in Islam"…..how convenient it is to forget that.

      It's really simple. You ain't gonna get love if you don't show love. And we're not showing love, much.

    • anonymous

      rahter than sit in front of non muslim eating, it is much better to discuss the beauty of ramadhan al kareem, finds more times to recite qurans n hadiths hope for us to be blessed by god…anyway that's my 2 cents oppinion….wish u all selamat berpuasa

      • vik

        Anonymous, you are weak.

        Plus, if you are muslim and have a problem with someone eating and drinking in front of you, you've failed to understand the very meaning of Ramadan. Its sad. Thats the whole point!

        In any case, here's the deal. Whether youre Muslim or youre not, I dont give a crap. Youre all the same to me. BUT don't let it affect others. Like today, I went to the immigration in Putrajaya at 2:50pm.

        Yeah well. Lets just say that I need to drive back to Putrajaya tomorrow. They close shop early there because of fasting month you see. The guy went back by 3pm today. Its hard not to connect the dots. Seriously. Whats the solution here?

    • malaysian

      let me illustrate to your this story. there is a guru monk with his disciple trying to cross a river. they came across a lady who was trying to do the same. the current was strong and the lady asked whether the monks could help them. the guru monk carried the lady on his shoulder and cross the river. thereafter, the disciple was confused and asked the guru "isn't a monk is not allowed to touch a woman?". the guru replied "i have put the lady down and move on but you seem to still carry her in your head". the guru has a free and open mind. he responded to the unexpected situation and immediately focus on the journey whereas the disciple has his mind disturbed and lost focus of the journey. it is all about mind power and will. if as a fasting muslims, you are unable to withstand the temptation of seeing someone eating and feel offended, i must say the fasting process is meaningless to you. fasting is not only about physical abstention from food, but more importantly the mental abstention from being tempted. jealousy and the feeling of being offended will ruin your "pahala". unless you are a young kid trying to fast.

    • Noel

      What about people who dine with vegetarian and eat meat in front of them? What about people whose religion don't allow them to eat beef but their friend eat beef in front of them?

      Your argument is flawed. It is not ignorant, it is mutual respect between human beings. Every religion have their restrictions, if we were to do like what you said, we would be better off joining our own kind which would divide this nation even further than it already is.

      • nocrid

        I think the vegetarian are ok. Please, most of the vegwtarian have their own spiritual path or health goal. They wont resolve to offended in front of meat eater. This is the first time i heard this.Omg. Please dont forcefully use another flawed argument. Every religion have restriction but every religion dont impose their belief onto the non-believers. Me and God made a deal and it is between me and him. Others can go eat a t-rex if they want.

        • Noel

          I think you get my point totally wrong mate.

        • chkt

          nocrid, you misunderstood Noel… he's just saying that those two situations are similar to Muslims fasting. The person with restrictions don't normally make a fuss if others around him are not following their restrictions…

      • currway

        If you're saying that, then it's as good as you've lost the entire gist of what Loyarburok was trying to convey, Noel.

        It's never about wether if THE OTHERS are following the practice of one's religion, in fact it's not about others at all, nor is there anything about one's desire or expectation of having the others behaving the way just like one wanted them to be.

        You have to start to understand the world is not designed around one person, in fact it's the other way round , one is born to be a particle of this world.

        it's about one self's commitment, submission, test, of that one self's dedication to his or her beliefs.

        Let me tell you what mutual respect is, right in this country of ours, in relation to dietary/feasting/muhibbah all in one. Let me tell you this story :
        Back in the days when our grandparents were young, they would gather just like any normal day in any normal coffee shops that you would find in any kampongs or towns. There were stalls that sell curry laksa with deep fried pork skin, chee cheong fun with charsiew etc by the Chinese hawkers, and there were putu mayam or roti canai etc by the Indian hawkers, and then there were the nasi lemak or the rendang hawkers by the Malays. Yes, in the same coffee shop. People ( They were all just people, not Malays, not Chinese, not Indians in particular) order their food from whichever stalls they like (according to their dietary requirements), and they sat down on the same table with whomever they like. The Ahmads , Ah Wongs , Letchumis sat together, eating their own food, sharing everyone's chatters and jokes.

        "Poof!" … Noel , i think that's the sound of your myth on national division due to dietary preference, gone out the window.

        Fast forward 50 odd years later and you have politicians yelling out heartfully that NO, you are all not to be the same, you shall not be together, you shall all be paranoid that our brethrens will steal our land and rights, you shall close your doors and not trust anyone other than your own skin.

        So much about mutual respect, the same kind of dissection our "leaders" of the day are instilling into our propaganda as per what Noel's scenario of vegetarians, meat, religion, and eating in his post.

        Let me sum it up : Every religion, practice is for yourself, don't expect or impose it on others, that's mutual respect , and oh by the way … yes, i think we can sit together on the same table even if it's there are differences on fasting or meat preference or religion.

    • pdit

      Don't be an idiot. If people are truly willing to have faith in a supreme power or their beliefs then they should also deal with the consequences. How selfish of vegetarians, hindus, muslims, etc to think that society MUST accommodate for them when it fact it was their choice to abstain from said food.

      Think about it. Because someone made a decision to abstain, I'm supposed to think twice about what I'm doing because the poor poor person won't be able to do it too?

      I'm not talking about blatantly shoving it in their faces; what i meant was normal daily activities that I do have to be censored and filtered for the benefit of others?

      Now that just makes me a hypocrite.

    • nik

      If you can't stand looking at others eating, then stay at home with all the doors and windows in your house closed. I
      personally have fasted for more than 30 hours without water for a religious festival. and I have done that many times. No one gave me a break when I was fasting. And i didnt EXPECT a break. i wanted to do it for my own self. And it made me happier that I did not give into my cravings and need for food or drink.

      I do not mean to sound rude…but if you are going to be out in a mall during fasting month or in a car service center or anywhere else, expect to see other people eating infront of you. you do not own the mall, road or building …so it does not give you the right to expect people to stop themselves from eating infront of you.

      with that said…hope you are indoors and protecting your eyes and mind from watching other people eat.

    • sabahano

      I think everyone misunderstood Sam. Sam is clearly not Muslim (he referred to Muslims as "them"). What he is saying, I think, as a form of courtesy, or show of goodwill, is that non-Muslims ought to refrain from intentionally eating in front of Muslims during Ramadhan if it is avoidable.

      • KI27

        The only one who bothered to read properly and understand what Sam was saying. The rest just couldn't wait to exercise their keyboard warrior-ism. Kudos on you!

      • Gypsy danger

        Sam is a gundu trying to be a hero

    • EyeintheSky

      Get out of your cave. Why should everyone bendover backwards just because YOU are fasting.
      Are you sensative enough to not serve beef rendang to your Hindu guest during a wedding or
      Raya? All religions fast one time or another. Nobody asked to be treated differently, so why should
      Malay muslims be any different. It is about you and God. Having a mentality like that sure wont get
      you much pahala.

      • abuzayd.ibnzainuddin

        who is asking?

      • Jimmy

        Agree. I ate rendang beef in front of my hindu's friend and she's not sensitive at all. she even joke, is the beef taste good or not. come one malaysians, dont be so sensitive. thats what makes us racist.

    • Jess

      As children, we were taught that the reason why the fasting month is essential is to teach us to be appreciative of what we have in the holy month. If you are easily tempted and offended by the action, wouldn't that beat the whole purpose fasting?

    • LeroyLuar

      And by this logic all skin should be covered, all liquor banned, pork and pigs banished, women sent to the kitchen and bedrooms to serve their husbands, yadda yadda yadda. We know you like it where you are in the dark ages but don't keep us back there with you. We have modern lives to live and modern problems to solve.

      • anonymous

        please don't use the women sent to kitchen and bedrooms to serve husbands argument. We are talking about Islam, not Arab =.='

        • LeroyLuar

          I'm glad to know that there are indeed those that know the difference between religion and culture. If only this level of intelligence were the norm instead of the exception.

    • fairplayj6

      Maulana Muhammad Ali said:

      “The real purpose of fasting is to attain righteousness. A person who undergoes hunger and thirst, but does not behave righteously, has done nothing. If someone is told the aim and object of doing a certain duty, and he does that duty but does not attain the required aim and object, it is as if he has not done that duty.”

    • Punita

      I think they are plain hungry…that's all.

    • chinabeng

      Melayu bodoh.

      • JCL

        chinabeng!!! you are bodoh x 100 times for making such a sweeping and mindless statement. It's fools like you who cause people to hate each other. Better stop your nonsense and apologise to all you have offended.

        Malaysia has enough of racial bigots. We do not need another one like you.

      • Musa Susah

        If you are a real Chinese then you are a SCUM for writing such. You are more bodoh then the kerbau/lembu. "BLOODY ARSHOLE".

    • JC Lee

      Ms Marina Mahathir is not only a very knowledgeable Muslim but also a very good one too, by showing understanding and concern for the equal rights of all peoples, irrespective of race, creed, or religion. Her courage to speak up against the hypocrites and religious bigots (a small minority) makes her stand tall among members of her community and all Malaysians at large.

      She is a towering Malay Muslim who earns the respect and love of many of us non-Muslims. There is hope yet for this country with people like her, though they chose to remain silent.

    • aine14

      This is the problem. Do you believe it is only the Muslims are sensitive? I know one school where non Muslim children are not even allowed to carry food anywhere in the school in case it offend the Muslims children. Where is the fairness in that to the non Muslim children and in this particular school Muslims are a minority. This is between you and God, fasting is not supposed to be easy. Your sense of entitlement is appalling.

    • firestarter

      In Malaysia all non Muslims must give way to Muslims in everything. They are the bosses

    • anynomous

      Hey thanks for the brilliant comments Sam, This article shouldn't be written anyway, see what this guy did? sparking anger, hatred and obnoxious responses. As we all know, multiracial country like Malaysia requires a higher capacity of humanity, mentality, and perfectly balanced views on seeing things. I'm a muslim, fasting. i don't have any issue coming out from my offices doors and sees a lot of people eating at the restaurant next door. Trying to overrate things wont make u any better Syahredzan Johan. here's my 2 cents.

      P/s

      Try fasting Guys, it good for the body and mind. try it yourself and understand. its not just about sincerity to yourself. it cleanse the Mind too.

      • M.RT

        its weird, why does he wrote his name as 'chinabeng'. whats the purpose. to show that he is chinese? why does he insult Malay so easily like that, with that name? If he is really chinese, why he dare to show he is chinese? this will only cause Malay to hate Chinese more. Don't trust him easily, we dont know if he really is chinese or…..?? you dont know if his purpose is to make Malay hate Chinese. to make us fight with chinese.

      • Pak_Su

        "sparking anger, hatred and obnoxious responses" just because the writer pointed out the flaws of holier than thou Malay Muslims. Butthurt? Can't accept reality lah you ni. Here's my 5 cents also – open your mind and see the real world, don't just stay in your own tiny little kampung.

      • raksaksa

        What muslims do during ramadan is not "fasting". Its more of short term deprivation. Stuffing yourselves morning and evening isn't fasting at all! It doesn't do anything in terms of health, and I suspect nothing spiritual as well. Show me statistical proof that somehow Malaysian muslims are more healthy than the non muslims. You won't find it.

    • Pak_Su

      Sam nobody forces to watch. Don't like to watch, go away. You have legs, very simple.

    • Jeffrey

      Sam, religion is a religion, is your about own belief and not theirs. You don't enforce what you think onto non believers, that's not freedom of religion.

      May I ask you a question?

      So what do you think about Muslims eating beef in front of Buddhist and Hindu?
      Cow is perceive as a holy animal among Buddhist and Hindus.

      Well majority of the Buddhist and Hindus will not eat the beef even if offered, they reject nicely. Most of them will not take it as an insult. Because one's belief doesn't mean another person's belief. If we give it a plot twist, a non-Muslim offer non-halal food to a Muslim. I think it would be another Cadbury incident.

  26. Leanna

    ughhh u read my mind bro :)

  27. Chines Muslim

    I have seen a lot of stupid Muslim in my travel but by far u are at number 1. U just used a very sensitive topic and made your name out of it and being a Muslim u know that most of us will not lash out to as ur part of the faith. I am not saying ur wrong but the way u put it on was.. Have you every been to Kuching on a Sunday night, try to go infront of the church and let me know how many car you see.. No police give a ticket or make a problem. For the name of God, well their are around a 30k name in different language y that one word need to be used and confusion to b created. U supporting LGBT just discuss me.. Its just not religiously (all religion) wrong, it socially, morally and naturally as well.. A real muslim will never have a issue if some one drink infront of him as it is normal and his faith is stronger but a fake like will have issue. Did you know Hindu and Christian fast too so its no different.. As being leader are chosen bais on religion, its the will of the people…name me one country without flaw then come out with this bullshit.

    It was a very cheap way to get popularity…..All the people who are supporting it is just sad, plz read it again b4 supporting this guy.. people like him is the cause of our 1Malaysia problem.

  28. Malaysian girl

    I wish our country muslim can be like this. Infact do u believe it….. I have so many muslim friends they are so understanding and even during fasting month they always worried for me whether have i eaten or drink…. They are the one who buy me food at times when i am busy. We eat seat at the same place sometimes is non halal. My muslim friends are awesome and i proud to say that they are the real muslim. This is how malaysia should be and not generalize people. They should respect. Muslim and non muslim they should be thought to accept others.

  29. Kanchana

    A wonderful article..I am a non Muslim & I respect the Muslims but unfortunately,I have been through so many experiences where I have experienced racism from Muslims just because I am not their race..so I am left thinking,where are all the good Malays?am I not human because I am a non Muslim?I hope the Malays will read your article & realise that the world is a home to every human being irregardless of race,religion & creed..only then will our country truly prosper..and I wish the "I am holier than thou" attitude will be changed..all humans are equal in the eyes of God..

    • lindaraymond

      Not all Muslim are Malays! Race and religion are two different things please don't be confused.

    • lindaraymond

      Not all Muslim are Malays! Race and religion are two different things please don't be confused. Just like not all Thais are Thai, you have Chinese Thai, Indian Thai etc..

    • Anis

      Dear Kanchana, I once enrolled in a programme that only has me as the only Malay and the others are of different race. Believe me, racism was there everyday. I have to pull myself out of bed to face racism and eventually made me very depressed & decided to quit the programme even I was already in my final year. It is not just you who exeperience racism. It's what happen when we are the minority. I am not stating that the other race are filled with racists, but you get my point. When we are the minority, the attention we received are lesser. No doubt that there are very, very kind and very understanding non-malay friends who support me throughout the entire years. The article was about Malay-Muslims who never respect the minority through the entire year but expect the minority to respect them like a royal in Ramadhan. I also did not agree with Malay-Muslim who claims non-malays are rude to eat in front of them. Even with my new programme i joined, half of my class are non-muslims. But it is fine with us Muslims if they wish to eat. Just because we, Muslims are fasting doesn't mean they have to fast too.

      But in your case, i believe you faced some very stubborn, arrogant Malay-Muslims who think they are the best, hence they can oppress other race with different belief & religion. Trust me dear Kanchana, ignore these people. Even i ignored these Malay-Muslims who acted like they are boss with other Malay-Muslims. Our Islam does not preach to oppress other people. Islam demanded for us to be fair to everyone regardless of race and beliefs. Those people you spoke of are some examples that the rest of Malay-Muslims look bad and hideous. Which is a very sad truth.

      • fana

        I agree with anis…one aspect of islam is respecting others.however, to practise Islam, one has to learn Islam by heart and understand Islam truly and then only can they practise Islam. Many muslims in Malaysia nowadays learn Islam (from Pendidikan Islam teaching in school) just to pass exam plus it's part of the curriculum. Having said that, people will question bcoz many involve in crime also come from sekolah agama/religious school. To answer all these, learning Islam doesn't necessarily mean they understand Islam. It is when you understand Islam and practicing with it then,you'll afraid to do bad deeds.

        Sad truth is, many muslims do not understand Islam teaching and so, they are not showing it in their attitude…

  30. Not

    I'm not sure who ur muslim friends are but i've hardly ever come across a muslim who gets angry just becos a non muslim eats/drinks in front of them. Hope u wouldnt generalise such a statement. It hardly ever happens in real life. We cook & feed our children during fasting as well u know.

    • Shaneek

      if the shoe fits..

    • wss

      When I was in school, non-muslims were instructed not to eat or drink in front of muslim kids during puasa month. Just saying.

      • Deanna Anuar

        Yes I agree.I'm Malay Muslim and I actually join my friends during lunch break. In fact ill go as far to say that nobody in my school has ever been angry whenever a non-Muslim its in front of them. I am not the exception either, as 3 of my other Muslim friends join me after we have carried out our Afternoon prayers. Not to say all Malay Muslims are like this but I think it is the minority making the majority look bad as they have in so many other matters.

    • jenny

      i think this author is not referring to all muslims. i ever came across an angry muslimah, she'snot only pissed off over some chinese colleagues of hers for eating in front of her, but she's ranting in her fb page abt the act…saying bad things abt her chinese colleagues…i thought during bulan Ramadhan, Muslims not only have to abstain from food and drink but also refrain from other sins..

    • Sheahnee

      I beg to differ. Before I became a Muslim, I used to work in a multi-racial company where the slight majority were Malay-Muslims. During Ramadhan, non-Muslims had to tapau food and eat in the office because the workload didnt permit us much time to eat out and the canteen was closed for the entire month. Believe it or not, my Muslim colleagues took offence at the sight of them eating and complained to management. Next thing we knew non-Muslim colleagues were banned from eating in the office. The non-Muslims had nowhere to go to eat, so had to take turns to eat in the tiny pantry! It was a very sad and divisive thing to witness.

    • cheeze

      I'm also curious, never met someone who's fasting gets angry at someone who eats in front/near them. It's not like we have to fast for 19hours. Maybe this article was written for Malay-Muslim-Hulk

    • malaysian girl

      my classmate in PRIMARY school scolded me for drinking water OUTSIDE the classroom (the rule then was to drink water outside the classroom regardless of whether or not it was Ramadan month) because i supposedly had no respect for them fasting. i don't think they even saw me drinking the water, but they did see me go outside of the classroom to drink water.

      • rais

        The primary school students is still unmature..they are still training to fast. So its normal if they scolded you. Im a teacher in primary school n most of the students are non muslim..the teachers which is mostly muslim and other muslim students never bother about "eating in front of us" but they usually understand that they should respect us. even only to drink sip of water, they will automatically find other place to do so..

    • malaysian girl

      just wondering that if it is courtesy not to drink and eat in front of Muslims who are fasting, and it is also courtesy not to serve pork when there are Muslims attending a meal, what about Hindus or some Buddhists who may not be aware that the meat they take from (eg. a buffet) is beef? one of my Hindu friends, and a Buddhist friend who does not take beef once nearly ate some beef at a simple lunch buffet at our workplace because they thought it looked like chicken.

    • Vishnu

      I have come across MANY but worse are institutions. University canteens, government offices, my secondary school, etc are rife with examples where they are closed during the day or provide special closed areas for non Muslims to eat unseen as not to hurt what appeared to be extremely thin skinned Muslims.

    • SadMalaysian

      wohoho…i totally disagree with this. I've been growing up in a Malay majority are since small. If you eat or drink even in the school canteen ( woi Hindu ni x puasa,keling ni berdosa)… That's how they see other races. Just imagine this is happening since primary school and how is their mind set since then. Then i continued my studies in Terengganu.. Non muslims are a minority there. So during the fasting month we non muslims normally do go to the Pasar Ramadhan to buy foods. I still remember the incident where one of my friend at at the Pasar Ramadhan while we were there and one elderly Pak Cik started yelling at him just because he at a slice of pastry. So, there are many out there that is not willing to accept the differences and they feel that they are way up at the top compared to other races.

    • hajar

      indeed, im used to live in estate in johor ( you may find it in ulu tiram) whereby the temple just in the opposite of the masjid..no probs at all..when our friends hinduism having their thaipusm,it didnt cause any problems for us muslim to perform our ibadah…nowadays,too many articles that purposly trying to provoke rather than to bring all good story that happened long time ago..

  31. Gaayathiri

    Well written and how I wish your kind of generation be at the forefront but most of the time its otherwise. Anyway hope this article reached at least few souls who can think and perceive it as how it was presented and not likewise.

  32. Guest1

    i study part time in UTM, all the food available to us during weekends are gone. just because its deemed that they fast. but basically they also think persians fast too, when most of them dont either. is it fair because of them we shouldnt eat? n to find food in UTM KL area is like finding needle in a haystack, end up some of us go hungry.

    • Booi

      what is the food available to you? who is selling it? who made the decision to stop selling it? if you know that the stalls will be closed, then prepare food for youself la. call delivery. make sandwiches. buy maggi cup, canned tuna. don't be so whiny la. maybe because majority people fast so they never open stall because not too many customers. it's not always about you.

      • NIM

        Booi, you're totally right! In my place, there's only like 3-10 non-Muslims. The other hundreds of customers are all Muslims so it's just not worth it to open any food stall at all.

      • Pak_Su

        whiny my foot. very typical muslim self-entitled mentality just like what the author pointed out lah you…. pshhh.

    • E9173

      Maybe rather than busy themselves doing other worldly stuff they would rather devote this month of Ramadan to God worshipping. Feeding those who doesn't fast is not their obligation. Think about that

  33. Tasha

    Great article, if only the majority thought more like u.. Must share :)

  34. Cheryl Chok

    Wonderful article.

  35. james 1067

    The fact that most muslims dont behave in this manner. They are very humble and very seldom will they rise to anger. This problem or character is actually the work of a few minority trying to use religion for their own agenda. They try to instigate to speak out or even use some violence for their personal benefit. You can see that its the work of politicians or leaders of NGO who want to put themselves forward to be noticed. In order to reach their goals they will use religion or people but the very fact remains that they themselves personally will fail the religious test.

    • karyn

      agreed! i dont mind the non-muslim eat in front of me.. no restaurant are closed right? all open as usual..the non-muslim can eat freely. we respect their religion too..they can practice their religion without discrimination. why question muslims when we respect your religion.

      • Musa Susah

        Yep. You've got a point there. If the 'nons" don't believe or dislike others' religions other then their own, don't embrace them but don't insult or criticize them (leave them to their own). Likewise don't impose yours openly by legislation or subtly on others especially on "Nons" school children.

    • khai

      agree with u james!

  36. Aniz

    Such a wonderfully written article…If only more Malaysian Muslims would read this…thank you..

  37. May Chee Chook Ying

    Dear Syahredzan,
    You give Malaysians hope for a better future. Thank you for being so selfless and brave. God bless.

  38. Fer

    Ironically, the same mentality has invaded the other end of the spectrum. Some of the people I've encountered shy away from eating/drinking infront of me, worried at the chance of offending me. Though that may be a polite gesture, their first impression of me being a Malay-muslim is that i would take offence to it.

    And concerning what "Amir" has said, I also feel that it's unethical to be arrested just because one chooses not to fast. I'm not saying I don't, but similar to drinking, gambling and/or fornicating, I feel those are all personal acts one chooses to indulge in, with a conscious knowledge that it is a sin. I feel only God can judge us, not the govt, police or extremists.

    • Hidayah

      Hi/Salaam. I beg to differ; if you are a true Muslim (Chinese/Indian or Malay) and you are not fasting for what ever personal reason you hold – and yes it is between you and God, it should be out of ethical respect that you don't eat in public where you can get second glances which just create trouble that can be avoided if you had that respect in the first place.

      • Amir

        The blame should not be placed on the individual, whose beliefs can never actually be known to anyone else but himself, but on others who do not have the right to 'second glance' people they think are, and SHOULD, be Muslims.

        It is not the fault of the individual, but the fault of other nosy Malay-Muslims who do not recognize that religion lies deep within one's conscience, despite Malays in this country being accustomed to the (wrong) idea that one person MUST be a certain religion by virtue of one's colour or familial heritage.

        I would grant nosy-ness and concern with family and friends – but not for complete strangers we see in public.

    • hidayah

      By the way fasting (not eating or drinking) is not an indulgence and is totally dissimilar to fornicating(which ppl do behind close doors-not in public), gambling (in casinos or private places) and as for consuming of intoxicant (others don't look to kindly done in broad daylight anyway.

    • Ethicist

      Fer,

      It was my Malay Cikgus and classmates in primary and secondary school taught me to jangan biadap by eating/drinking in front of Malay classmates.

    • A.L.I

      it depends on the public my fren…..if you are surrounded by pious,educated,self control man,…..by all means go for it….but the malaysian muslims mentality are far from that……they need guidance and discipline,just like any other troubled child…..when we erect legislations,regulations and constitutions….we must take into consideration the people who we are governing…….you my dear sir may have the civic awareness to abstain from these certain acts,however regrettably the majority of our muslim ummah are lacked up in it

    • ramnbo

      But dummnoooo ppl in Msial are more god than god…..

    • NIM

      Fer,

      You should study more about Islam. In Islam, we as Muslims must fast for the whole Ramadhan and NOT LETTING OTHER MUSLIMS to eat in public or break the fast on purpose either unless they have very good reasons for it like being pregnant, sick or so. The non-Muslims are free to eat in public and in front of us (as long you're not mocking our religion or provoking us).

      Islam is perfect as it doesn't only guide a person to be a human but also teaches you everything including administrating a country. Please read Panduan Puasa Ramadhan by JAKIM to learn about fasting and how to deal with people who choose not to fast.

      With that said, The Government, Police Officers and fellow Muslims are not scolding Muslims who didn't fast because they're feeling holier-than-thou but rather because we are all Muslims.

      Here's the link to that e-book by the way: http://www.islam.gov.my/sites/default/files/e-pen…

      • anonymous

        well said. i dont understand why people choose to think that others that fast and advise others to fast as well is holier-than-thou when it is actually our responsibility to god, both to act to what he commands us to do and also remain our fellow brothers and sisters in islam to do it as well. even those who do not advise others on what is clearly wrong, will be among the wrong (its like being an accomplice)

      • Lol guy

        Sigh. All right, you win. Thick skull is impermeable, no cure. Go ahead, your freedom.
        So sick with the "read jakim panduan" response, as if you are Muslim because you were hardwired instead of "niat", think. Im sorry, you were, what m joking, its malaysia, where I'm a born Buddhist by force, and I cant find atheist in the effing religion column.

  39. jimbo8home

    Please translate this excellent article into Malay so that it can be shared by more people. Cheers!

  40. Amir

    I feel as though the same respect should be given to Malays who wish to eat in public during the day. Since all Malays 'must', by Malaysian law, be Muslims (a fact I find extraordinary), anyone who looks Malay does get a second glance if seen eating in public this month.

    Nature call, right to choose, can't be bothered, don't believe in fasting or Islam; whatever the reason is, a Malay (by appearance) shouldn't have to justify it to other holier-than-thou Malays. I know that what I'm proposing is all a bit too idealistic, but really, fasting is a man-and-his-God business, not an act of pressured social conformity.

    • starranise

      Waiting for an article about freedom of religion for people who have no choice but to be Muslim?

      • Amir

        Yes, as it should be. Ironically, I don't imagine our current law to even be 'correct' in Islam, though I can't confirm that. "There is no compulsion in religion" would seem to oppose a law which decides someone's religion for them.

    • angoragal

      Such an idealist..haha..this will never happen in Malaysia unless Malay Muslims dare to change how Islam is practiced here

      • gee

        I think your comment by provoking the Muslim that shows intolerent as well.

        Being Muslims, they (islamic officals and leaders) have to carry out their responsibilities required by the religion and by the ummah. Before you criticize an action, why don’t you talk these people and ask them why disdthey take the action?

        People need to start learning about other religions. Just because they have different belief and practise from you and you disagree with that, doesn’t mean that you have the right to critize their belief.

        People should start agree to disagree but respect each others.

        • Wk

          I grew up in an Sk and then an SMK school. All my life, I have been told I could not eat in front of a fasting muslim in the Ramadan month. Your article has open the minds of many. Keep it up. We need more tolerant muslims.

          Anyway, the main objective of this article is about the tolerance of the majority muslim towards the minority non-muslims in many areas. Being one of the majority muslims do not make them dictators like the Fuhrer of Germany of long ago..

    • jci

      i have a friend who looked like a Malay and yes, she had a very hard time enjoying her meals accompanied with ample sharp stares. It is high time these holier-than-thou Malays know where to keep their nose at and stop thinking that just because they are fasting, they have the right to dictate those who dont be it, another Muslim or not.. Like you said, it IS an affair between man and God. No others. You have my support in this.

    • pete

      haha.. as an Iban Christian, I felt that when I had to go out to eat during the fasting month, while studying in KL. To make it more 'interesting', I'd usually eat in Chinese eateries since the Malay ones would definitely turn a head or two in my direction. Look.. it's not like anyone who's dark-skinned and with round eyes are Malays, my Peninsular friends. :)

      • hybridboy

        I know what you mean, Pete. I'm a young Malaysian of Indian, Bidayuh and Chinese descent. Because of the colour of my skin, many people automatically assume I'm Malay, and I get stares or (on a few occassions) even scoldings whenever I am seen eating in public during the fasting month. I'm not really offended or anything (let he who is without sin cast the first stone), but I do wish people would not make assumptions based on appearances alone. Many of my friends of mixed descent also face this problem. Inter-racial marriages are becoming more common in Malaysia, and at some point, we really have to stop looking at people in terms of ethnicity, and start recognising each other as fellow Malaysians.

    • Eza

      On the matter of having a non-muslim eating in front of a Muslim during Ramadhan, I personally don't find it much of an issue as I've actually never feel bothered if a non-Muslim actually eats in front of me when I'm fasting. I have my obligation as a Muslim and to be apprehended by others of different beliefs just because they're eating in front of me is not really something i find offensive.
      But, as a muslim, even if you are not fasting due to allowed circumstances (e.g. being very2 sick or having a period for women) you can't simply just go out and eat in the public as it will invite what we call 'fitnah' to other Muslims who are fasting and to Islam as a way life.
      We also need to know and understand that the act of eating in the middle of the day in public during Ramadhan month is also equivalent as making fun of the law outlined in Islam- which draws the risk of being murtad. Even if we want to call for respect, it should also come with the knowledge of what we're actually requesting and not simply based on personal qualms.
      Wallahualllam.

      • Amir

        Eza,

        I understand the point that it would make toilet paper of Islamic law and Islam itself ie. it becomes meaningless.

        Alas, we do not live in a theocratic state. You see, the problem is that in Malaysia we can all assume someone is a Muslim just from their skin color or how they carry themselves; if they are Malay, they must, and should, be Muslims.

        The risk of being 'murtad' should be of concern to that person and nobody else – except perhaps their spouses or close family, who could express concern, but definitely not the State. How would the sight of someone who you think is a Muslim eating in public during Ramadhan invite 'fitnah' to you? I'm not very familiar with rules in Islam, so I'd like it if you could explain this part to me.

      • jawatulin

        you dont get it do you kid .. its not your business .. full stop !!! get it through your head

    • Jenny

      I agree with you. Fasting should be something personal, I mean I don't conform to any religion but I get stares during the fasting month because I look Malay. I just have my meals normally like how I would in everyday life, and I know I'll get a lot of glance but I couldn't really care. If someone is gonna confront me I would tell them that it's none of their business, even if I were a Muslim.

    • NIM

      Hm, I can't agree with you because this is not an issue of race or ethnicity at all but rather our religion.

      In Islam, we must fast for the whole Ramadhan and NOT LETTING other Muslims to eat in public or break the fast on purpose either unless they have very good reasons for it like being pregnant, sick or so. Non-muslims are free to eat in public and in front of us (as long you're not mocking our religion or provoking us).

      If everyone in Malaysia including the Indian, Bidayuh, Chinese, and those of mixed descent like you, are Muslims then make no mistake. WE WILL scold or stop you from eating in public regardless of what you look like or your race/ethnicity. But in Malaysia, only the Malays are totally Muslims so that's why only the Malays got scolded.

      I'm sorry that, sometimes, non-Muslims got caught in the middle because they look like Malays but I'm not sorry for us following our God's teaching.

      You are free to follow your God's teaching and we're free to follow ours. Just because our values are not the same as yours doesn't mean we're wrong.

      • YourFellowMalay

        1. You are entitled to try and prevent Muslims to eat in public. If you think you have the right to 'scold' me, I will not respond, nor should anyone.
        2. You are free to follow your God's teaching and we're free to follow ours". I agree. So who said all Malays are Mus lime? I'm not. Contrary to what you might think, Malays are no different from others in that we are all born naked, with the freedom to choose. It is only the state of affairs in Malaysia which skews the logic of self-righteous people like yourself. Think beyond the norms of this country. God doesn't live in Malaysia.
        3. The problem with you, and with the State, is that both of you don't understand that religion is the business of each person's private conscience. In this conscience each person can choose to show faith in a religion without any real belief – all the world could be pretending, but you cannot know for sure.
        4. You can be more confident, however, that less people will be pretending when there is no social compulsion to believe in any particular religion. So the next time you're at Friday prayers, look out for me, and the few other atheists and non-Muslims who are there because of compulsion.
        5. "Just because our values are not the same as yours, doesn't mean we're wrong". Exactly – but this time, I get to say it to you.

        • NIM

          1. Thanks.

          2. You're certainly right about not all Malays are Muslims if you're talking about the Malays worldwide. I'm talking about the Malays according to our country's constitution.

          Although I disagree with your accusation of me and other Malay Muslims of being self-righteous and not being able to think beyond the norms of this country, I won't deny the fact that some of us do think like that (just like how there're always fanatics in any group of people).

          You're right that everyone was born naked including the Malays but we (Muslims) also know that all babies are born pure without sins and as Muslims (submit to Allah) and therefore, we were born with freedom to choose [whether to submit as His servants or go against Him]. And yes, that includes you (according to Islam).

          Although the babies (including us) are born Muslims, they are brought up according to the people surrounding them and that's how they might grew up with different faith or no faith at all. That is also why there's no compulsion to submit to Islam if you've grown as non-Muslims because you don't remember your oath and you don't know the truth yet. But for those who have submitted and learnt of the truth, they're not allowed to pick the wrong side (submitting to other God, other than Allah).

          Sometimes though (lots of times actually), the Muslims who are Muslims by birthright, they take these gifts for granted and didn't bother to learn further. So even though they're Muslims, they don't understand Islam, and didn't practice what Islam actually teach them to do. And this is where those self-righteous who thinks Malays are better than others came from. And this is also when some Muslims become to doubt about Islam.

          So while it's considered as a very big offence in Islam, people are still allowed to leave Islam PEACEFULLY if they really can't see the light with certain conditions.

          One of the conditions is that they CANNOT openly insult and spread hatred to Islam (which is understandable as Muslims are not allowed to do that to other religions either). Depending on how serious it is, this kind of offence could end with a death penalty.

          And while I do not encourage Murtad (leave Islam) at all, I agree that our Government should improve our country system in order to allow Muslims to change their belief. If they don't want to allow that, they should at least uphold the death sentence.

          But this doesn't mean I disagree with how the constitution define the Malays by their religion. In fact, I am very very grateful for it.

          Because the Malays must be Muslims, our Malay leaders will always be Muslims and because of that, Muslims will continue to lead this country the Islamic way :)

          Not saying that non-Muslims are bad at managing a country because that is obviously untrue (just look at Japan, Korea and Russia). But without fellow Muslims leading this country, there's no way Islamic education, Islamic banking system, halal food industry, and so on would ever come to exist in Malaysia. We are also free to cover our Aurat, to pray almost anywhere (since the mosque and Surau are almost everywhere), to fast, to go to Mecca for Hajj and practicing other Islamic teaching.

          So that's why I am in complete support for it.

          P/S 1: I wonder what race are they going to label the non-Muslim Malays if they choose to allow the Malays to change their belief. Maybe by their faith?

          P/S 2: I know there are Muslims from other races as well but they're not a lot. Human by nature are strongest when they're together because of their race or their religion or both. So, how do you uphold your view when you're weak (not much support from your own people)? As a person, yes, it's possible. But as a leader? Unlikely.

          Besides, by the constitution's definition of Malay itself, these people can be considered as Malays if they fit all the requirement.

          3. Again, "just because our values are not the same as yours, didn't mean we're wrong". Even if we're not talking about religion, it's a common event for a person to pretend to be someone he's not. Same goes with how a criminal can pretend to be an innocent in public but a dangerous predator behind the scene.

          NO ONE can ever claim to know what other people really thinks unless he's been given special insight by God. Normal human just don't have the ability to read other people mind. That's exactly why religion or the law exists.

          So people can act according to certain values and they're punished only if they have break the rules through their actions. People with authority just can't punish other people for what they are really thinking about. That rights only belong to God.

          So if a person claims that he's a Muslim, he's to be handled according to Islam's teaching. Simple as that.

          4. True.

          5. Sure, nothing's wrong with that.

          • Hani

            I think you are confused between the term 'race' and 'religion'. They are not one in the same thing.
            P/S 1: No, they are still Malays because Malay is a race. You don't classify ethnicity by religion.
            I think people like you are in your comfort zone and exactly like what the article denotes, have little regard for the minority or others who do not share your beliefs. You might want to take another look at the article.

          • NIM

            Hani, please read my previous response carefully.

            1) I'm not confused at all but like I said, in Malaysia, our constitution definition of Malay includes being a Muslim.

            In other word, if your blood is from Malay parents but you're no longer a Muslim, you're not a Malay according to Malaysia constitution. That is why in Malaysia, Malay is synonym to Islam. And to make it more interesting, any citizen who are Muslims and practice Malay custom, they're considered as Malay too even though they have NO MALAY BLOOD in their vein at all!

            Some people think this is weird but according to the history, this practice has been going on for a long time which shows how open Malay people really is to be able to accept other people as their own as long we practice the same religion. Well, another reason is because there are hardly any pure Malays among Deutro Malay even then. Most of us are of mixed ethnicity. If there's any pure Malay left, they're probably among the Aborigines like Orang Kuala, and Orang Kanaq.

            You may disagree with the idea but this is how it is in Malaysia.

            2) Yes, I am in my comfort zone but to say that I have little regard for the minority or others who do not share my belief is unfair.

            Islam is my religion and therefore a Muslim must always take care of each other INCLUDING reminding other Muslims about their duties to our God. If the non-Muslims disagree with the teaching of Islam, they're free to do so but they have no right to interfere with our faith as we Muslims have not and do not have any right to interfere with their faith's practices either. They're free to practice theirs and we're free to practice ours. So is it fair to consider this as having little regard to other people opinion, Hani?

            If somehow there's some mistake along the way (example: mistakenly treating a non-believer as a believer) , that's normal. Or are you saying you've never make any mistake? That is why I said I would feel sorry for disturbing each other but I'm still not sorry for practicing my faith. Is that wrong?

            To discuss this further, if some Muslims disagree with the teaching of Islam, it's truly their business with God but it doesn't mean they have the right to stop other Muslims from upholding His teaching. In case you don't know, God has taught Muslims a lot of things including administrating a country which includes how to deal with offenders which depends on the types of offense the offenders have done. That is why a Muslim Kings/Leaders/Authority have every right to catch Muslims who didn't fast for a very good reason and put them in jail. They didn't do it because they have little regards of other, but because they are following what God taught them to do. Read Al-Quran dan Hadith if you don't trust me.

            If some Muslims really hate Islam and don't want to be Muslims anymore, then do what you can do. You can endure it, you can learn more about it to understand and perhaps change the mind of other Muslims about the teaching or you can leave Islam (Murtad). If there is any part of Muslims in Malaysia where people have little regard of others, this is one of it, not 'puasa'. And had you read my previous response carefully, you would notice that I disagree with how the authority deals with The Murtads too.

            3) So, could you please explain which part of me having little regards of others you're talking about?

            Thanks for sharing your thought.

          • kelingpendatang

            NIM, it scares me as a non muslim to know that people like you exist in Malaysia. You have obviously no regard or knowledge whatsoever of humans other than muslims. You're racist yet you've convinced yourself that you're a thinker. In your above writings you've outlined that you're happy with Malaysian laws that disallow people of different faiths from leading the country. That's racist and religious bigotry. Alternately in developed countries leaders are selected on capability not race or religion. Malaysia should be a powerhouse by now, but we're known internationally as a racist, corrupt nation with an autocratic regime of leaders.

            You have little regard of others because you know, trust and feel comfortable only within your own race and religion. You actually think it's generous that if I become a muslim and practice malay culture only then I have the same rights as you in Malaysia.

            So if I value my own culture and religion I am second class to you? That the same god who gave you your racial and religious identity gave me mine doesn't seem to have crossed your mind.

          • NIM

            Right, so that's why other countries look up to us because we're totally not dependable, corrupted, untrustworthy, etc.

            I don't know what your definition of racist is but according to mine, according to Islam, racist is not when you prefer your own people over other people. It's when you let your OWN people to terrorize, bully, or oppress other people. Have that ever happen in Malaysia? It doesn't matter which race or religion you are, all criminals are treated the same though money and power might make a difference sometimes.

            Or are we talking about the 'hak sama rata'? Again, our definition might be different. According to mine, according to Islam, fairness or justice means putting something in its place. So if we have 100 people, 60 people with almost half of them are sick in one group, 30 people with only 3 of them are sick, and the last group with 3 of them are sick, 'hak sama rata' means dividing all 30 medicines equally to each group. Is that fair?

            It's up to you to think whether I'm a racist or religious bigot but the thing is, have you ever look to other countries? Please tell me in which country, where the leader is a non-Muslim, have they ever made Islam teaching as their guide and priority when they're building the country (remember our country official religion is Islam)?

            I tell you, none! Had this country is governed by the non-Muslims, specifically Chinese or Indians, I just need to take a look over China (where people kill their own children if they have more than one, prefer son over daughter, won't help you to go to the hospital when you've been ran over in front of them, Internet access is regulated), India (where women are looked down and same things happened, gang rapes are popular, Islam vs Hindus fight), or Singapore (where Malays and Indians are slowly being wipe out quietly, directly or indirectly, by the Chinese).

            Oh, and do I need to mention that there is NO non-Chinese leaders in China, NO non-Indian leaders in India and there is NO Malay/Indian Prime Minister in Singapore?

            Look, I'm not looking down on you, your race, or religion (I don't even know who you are). I'm just trying to remind you that no one is perfect including the leaders of the so called powerhouse countries. We have different belief and thoughts, I respect that but expecting the Malays to share their power with non-Muslims when you wouldn't expect such thing from other countries except for those which separate religion and country administration is totally unfair.

            P/S: "You actually think it's generous that if I become a muslim and practice malay culture only then I have the same rights as you in Malaysia."

            We don't really have that much special rights (just some rights offset by other rights given to other races to make it fair) compared to others except for country administration. To administer a Muslim country, it's totally unthinkable to expect non-Muslims to understand and respect our values and thus administering the country based on Islam's teaching. So to say we're racist is totally untrue as it is possible for non-Malays to become the country leaders too as long they're Muslims.

            What is Malay culture anyway? As long you can speak fluently in Malay (as any Malaysian should) and follow Islam's teaching, you've already passed.

          • kelingpendatang

            Sonia Gandhi is an Italian, one of the most influential person in Indias politics…she's also a woman. In the islam driven Arab Saudi, women cannot even drive cars. None of the muslim countries in the world are well run, they merely exist reasonably well because of oil (this includes malaysia). Malaysia's strongest advantage from historic times has been the strategic position between India and China; Malays can trace their ancestry to these two races (that's why Indo-chinese mixed parentage kids look like Malays)

            Your worldview is very limited, read up more; don't depend on government controlled media. When I was growing up the school history textbooks clearly stated that the word Melayu came from the Tamil word Malai-ur which means land of hills. Today this has been removed.

            If we gave truth a chance and looked for the similarities that unite instead of the differences that divide, we'd be in a better place.

            We have been oppressed on multiple occassions by the malay elitists that rule the land. What do you call May 13, the Kg Medan slaughter/butchery of children and all the indians being killed in police lockups. If it's your islamic duty to question all wrong, what are you doing to bring the ALtantuya murderers to justice?

          • fairnsquare

            kelingpendatang is correct in one thing, NIM — that you ARE racist and have a pretty limited view of the world. I believe deep down you have this superiority complex of being a Muslim or should I say MALAY in this country.

            I have met your type before.

            Grow up, try to get rid of your deep seated prejudice (product of your upbringing?) and realise that people who think they're better than other ethnicities or religion are actually MISERABLE SOULS.

            I suggest you get out there and travel, try to get to know other people from DIFFERENT RACES, BACKGROUNDS and RELIGIONS instead of sticking with a group of people you're comfortable with.

            Remember, what goes around comes around. BIGOTRY IS UGLY and so is the person practising it.

          • Lol guy yes m lol

            What's with the idea of submittihg one self to the subject of religious slavery?
            A slave mindset stays slavery no matter how, not even how close others show to him that he has similar freedom.
            You mau ikut lu ikut la, buat apa paksa lain? Sekarang Allah milik manusia .atau milik kerajaan malaysia and Jakim? Be more humane, please.
            Dont everyday according to Jakim, our law our law. Our law dah lama diputar belit untuk kepentingan sesetengah manusia yang lebih sesat agama dari semua, hanya demi kuasa dan diri. Lagipun, biarlah nak makan ke tak, nak puasa tak, itu masalah diri dengan Tuhan. Lu jadi examplary dah cukup la, tangan tak payah kepo.

  41. robertcslim

    Hi
    I was with my colleague from Saudi Arabia. We sometimes have a cup of coffee before or after meeting. Today after a meeting he 'invited' me to have coffee. He said that it is all right for me to sip coffee in front of him. We sat and talked for sometimes.

    Now isn't that a good example of good behaviour?

    • journalist lady

      I'm a journalist. In ramadan month i interview one mat saleh and one local chinese in restaurant. They ate what ever they like and i ask what ever i want and they answer.

      the point is, in arab saudi or malaysia, we still the same, we muslim and we obey our religion. what differ us is attitude.

    • Daclao

      Not good behaviour but an exemplary muslim, like all others from overseas muslim countries, except Malaysia. In Malaysia, there are many muslims who bring credit to their great religion. However, there are also many who are plain hypocrites and are more 'form than substance'. With the exception of a few really learned Islamic scholars in Malaysia, many of the other so-called religious authorities like to impress to Malaysians and the world that they are the ones who know Islam better than Islamic scholars in other muslim countries. Only their interpretation of the religion is correct, others are wrong. These are the ones who are tarnishing the image of the great religion of Islam.

    • Fariq

      Thats what called disrespect, you punks have shown me much more good example and I am not a stranger to your people.

  42. It's great that we all seem to agree that we should not rage at non-Muslims who don't fast who eat in front of Muslims who are fasting. *golfclap*

    But what about Muslims who are not fasting? Shouldn't they be allowed to eat too?

    • Felix Cheam

      Haris,
      IF you choose not to fast for whatever reason – you can have lunch with me, my brother.

    • NaviX

      I don't think most people will bother. I saw a Muslim man buying lunch from McD just today. I'm not sure if the religious authorities can prosecute you for not fasting. I guess Syah has to answer that.

      • buying food is not illegal but I think Muslims actually eating in public is prohibited by most (if not all) states' syariah laws. loyars can confirm whether this is the case? at very least, the various JA** seem to always conduct daytime raids at eateries.

      • Ben

        In 1968 I personally witnessed a Malay taxi driver arrested by police while eating in a hidden corner of a very quiet restaurant. It was an hour or so to go before the puasa break and the restaurant workers were readying the food. Guess who alerted the police? The Malay proprietor.

      • Lol guy

        Lol!
        I fucking hate pop up ads or irrelevant statement in middle of good discussion.

    • IshakMY

      Haris, your "But what about Muslims who are not fasting? Shouldn't they be allowed to eat too?" shows misundestanding/ lack of knowledge in Islam on yourself. I don't blame U but would like to suggest U to learn more about Islam, so as not to get confused statements/remarks from confused non-Muslims e.g Felix Cheam and NaviX.
      I pray all of us Muslims could observe the the fasting in Ramadhan ( the third pillar of Islam ) as it has been observed by our Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ) and other Prophets of God ( peace be upon them
      all ).

      • Rafie

        Muslims who are not fasting can also include people who are on medication, or women during their time of the month.

        I do not believe that people should be 'forced' to carry out acts of religion. Let them make their own decisions. If they eat in public, then let them make peace with the Creator, on their own terms. If we are to prosecute 'non-fasters' (which we do do now, actually), then why not arrest/fine/prosecute Muslims who miss prayers for whatever reasons, or have not done their Haj when they can afford to (all pillars of Islam as well)? This is another can of worms, and I digress.

      • JennYSayw

        Dear IshakMY, I don't think those non-Muslims comments are made by confused people. I guess you don't go out much during the fasting month because you don't seem to realise the reality of what's happening out there. Yes, Muslims have reasons to not fast during the Holy month and yes, they may buy food in public, but no, they are not allowed to eat in public. If you get caught, you get arrested, you get fined. If there is something in the Quran about not being allowed to eat in public during fasting month, please do enlightened those "confused" non-Muslims like me.

        I am neither a Malay nor a Muslim. However, EVERY year without fail I have problems eating in public during lunch hour simply because I look like a Malay. Some restaurants, despite showing my IC as evidence, refuses to allow me to eat because of my features and they fear trouble from the authorities. So yes, please enlightened this poor confused soul because I really do want to know why I face this persecution every year.

      • jawapower

        the thing is , whatever Haris wants to do is his business . NOT YOURS!!!! ada paham tak brader . Its between him and god , Not him and you , Not him and society , Not him and imams , its between HIM AND GOD !! you have absolutely NO SAY whatsoever in his personal business …..typical la lu !!

        • Govt Servt

          You're the typical malay mentality: His business is his business, kubur masing-masing. Please check that for Muslims – there is Hadith saying that if you see deviance in front of you, you should put a stop to it.

          So, unless the Malay-Muslim has valid reason not to fast, then we MUST take action against him if he dines in public during ramadhan. Its our obligation as Muslims.

          By the way, if you're not practicing the Muslim way (i.e. fasting during ramadhan), why the heck do you call yourself Muslim anyway?

          • Hedonist

            What is so wrong with the idea of 'his business is his business, kubur masing-masing'? If a grown and capable adult says 'I am not following such and such dicta' and no one is being hurt by that stand, then surely it is his right to do whatever he wishes? Or am I being naive here?

            Isn't this the same argument that is taken against LGBTQ rights? That maybe it's okay if non-Muslims do it, but not Muslims? As long as the person making the choice knows what he is doing, then it is his choice to make, not yours.

          • visitor

            @Govt Servt
            you're the ONE WITH THE TRULY TYPICAL MALAY MENTALITY, heck, even your name Govt Servt suggested it. you know why malays will never ever be as 'maju' as non-malays? because 90% malays have typical malay mentality like YOU! why do you have to paksa paksa other muslims to do things they don't wanna do??? and then you claim, oh Islam is the best, tiada paksaan bla bla bla. but see, your very statement contradicts the tiada paksaan claim. what a whore!

          • anonymous

            I do not think that what Govt Servt is saying is a typical mentality. Its not about being a Malay, its more about being a muslim, where when we see someone doing something which is wrong, its our responsibility to correct it within our scope of power which includes by word of mouth. There are somethings in which we are given an option to do and some we have to do as an obligation to our god. Not about being a malay, but its about being a muslim.

          • Lol guy

            Ironically, being a good samaritan with ample liberal consciousness and empathy is a greater deed than be a obedient law follower, give or take, whatever law it maybe. Religious or non.
            Well, I guess to justify a matter as right or wrong should be by empathetic compass, be in their shoes, I'm sure God should be quite or nigh forgiving, if one is trully at brink of desperation for meal, be it of gluttony or gastritis, can any lenience be provided?
            You don't hunt and lock anyone as if they are detainee, even within scope of religious fervor, give or take, right? Then what's the pivotal meaning of fasting?
            Is it all about hunting and pin pointing flaws in others or simply to educate in religious love?

          • odirex

            Why does he call himself a Muslim???? Sheesh! Don't you know that in Malaysia, he has no choice in the matter?

          • Musa Susah

            Yep. Absolutely no choice. No freedom but fanatical compulsion. Try convincing me that I am wrong.

        • Izzat

          Kubur masing-masing right, then I hope haris and his relative don't ask the Ustaz, the imam, the people that fasting and those who report due to applying amal makruf nahi mungkar to dig his grave, to bath him before kafankan him, to carry him to the graveyard and to pray solat jenazah to him when he die. Kubur masing-masing sendiri settlelah.

          • Azah

            Agree with you Izzat. Spot on! That is by far the best answer to the logic of "kubur masing2". My response would be of a lighter note, "what if your kubur is next to mine! No more Rest In Peace for me".

    • wtf haris i cannot believe you hang out on loyarbukor forums.

    • jawatulen

      as a non fasting Malay . Yes!! we whould be able to eat in the open without prejudices during puasa month as it is our own choice .. Morality should NOT be regulated . But what to do , Melayu suka jaga tepi kain orang .

    • DSS

      no. because religious freedom does not exist for muslims in malaysia.

    • NIM

      Haris, I wonder if you're really a Muslim (can't judge a person's religion by his name afterall). If you actually recognized yourself as a Muslim, I would like to suggest for you to read Panduan Puasa Ramadhan by JAKIM (Do you even know what JAKIM is?).

      Here's the link: http://www.islam.gov.my/sites/default/files/e-pen…

      Here's an excerpt:
      "Ijmak: Puasa merupakan perkara dharuriyyah dalam agama di mana sesiapa yang mengingkari wajibnya puasa maka dia menjadi kufur, manakala sesiapa yang meninggalkan puasa tanpa uzur syarie, hendaklah dipenjarakan dan ditegah daripada makan agar terhasil gambaran puasa pada dirinya."

      There's no problem if non-Muslims want to eat in public but for Muslims, that's a different matter because we are both guided by the same God.

      "Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion." (Surah Al-Kafirun)

      So if you're a Muslim and you're complaining about this, it only shows that you don't know and love your own religion. That's all.

      But if you're talking about other Muslims eat in front of you only (not in public), then yes, I agree with you (depending on the reasons why they're not fasting of course). But from my experiences, Muslims are already very understanding about this matter and don't mind if other Muslims who are excused from fasting because of their period or other medical reasons eating in front of them.

      • visitor

        @NIM
        oh shut up!

      • IMOVERIT

        What else do you expect a Panduan Puasa Ramadhan by JAKIM to say? Of course it will include calling someone who doesn't fast "kufur" and "hendaklah dpenjarakan". JAKIM's law is law written by human – officers from the government. Of course the most severe punishment will be suggested…….
        I've given up 100% believing, agreeing or trying to follow what I read from governmental agencies, government media and government itself

        • NIM

          Er, hello? Do you even know what JAKIM is? It's a body for experts to study and discuss about ISLAM. Of course it is not right to follow anything blindly but the fact that they're experts and we're not (yet) means we are NOT QUALIFIED to push their methods, suggestions or decisions away just because we personally don't like it.

          Please remember, whether you like the current Government or not, this is an issue about Islam, the religion, the way of life, taught by God through the Prophets and Ulama. So if the experts themselves cannot be trusted, then tell me, who can we trust? Who can we refer to? Until we have become experts in this matter ourselves, it is not right to rebel against it just because we don't like it.

          • Lol guy lol non stop

            Since when Jakim discuss on religious academic? From their way of doing, they denote an ancient religious fervorish zeal like those in witch hunters.
            Law by law, laws are made by man too.
            Adui, believe deep down in yourself, listen to the voice of your God la bro. Apa la lu?

  43. alwin lim

    After reading this article it really feels like Hari Raya

    • Akmal

      irrelevant, but I like the way you think haha. I think we're much more tolerant than the article mentions.

  44. Kirk Tan

    I agrees some to syahredzan,but I disagree alots.Example,if Malay-Muslim does not agree Hindu temple/church to be

    built in the vicinity of the housing estate,it’s also equally fair to say that the non-Muslim are also entitle to their

    own rights.For exampl, building Surau and mosques in the vicinity of the housing estate so that their sleep won’t be

    Intrupted so early during the morning prayer.The non-Muslim are also paying for their housing loan within the vicinity.

    The federal constitution is a “supreme Law”. When Malaysia was formed,I personally disagrees & i don’t believe that

    our past forefather( especially the non-Muslim from Sabah/swak )allow their RAKYAT be suppressed by religion as what actually happen in reality nowadays.To my very best understanding,it’s more to a comradeship situation simply in order

    Malaysia can be formed without much “hassle & delay” during that time.In whatever manner and meaning of our FC

    Articles are written i would believe it merely to expedite the process of the formation of Malaysia.its so sad,in this very broad light of modern world,there as so many extremist and opportunist taking advantage of the situation without

    Considering the feeling of other people,less they forget without the “godly good heart” of the past forefather of the non-Muslim leaders definetly perhaps today there is “No Malaysia “. We cannot allow the attitude of extremism to persist

    bagaikan”sudah di Beri bêtis mau paha sehingga akhirnya mau kesemuanya” and this is not fair to other msian who also

    Contribute and struggle before and after the formation of malaysia.The key words is “Tollerance”.In short,there are no

    Supreme Law for just one community after all it’s being said so many times that “nobody are above the law”.

    No hurt feeling but merely expression of opinions.Selamat berpuasa to AlLL the Muslim bothers & sisters and Selamat

    hari raya adilfetri.

    • hogwash1964

      Let us really think about this mate: how are we going to ever espouse fair play when that supreme law has it engraved that some are more equal than others? Just wondering…

    • tbh

      Kirk,
      Pls read again.
      you failed to understand his point pn "Malay-Muslim does not agree Hindu temple/church to be built in the vicinity of the housing estate"

    • non-partisan

      You don't even understand what the author is trying to say.

      The author is merely pointing out how these presumptuous bunch of people are thinking.

      The author in fact states that, the rights of the minority should be respected by drawing examples from the burqa incident in France.

      Seriously, you need to read this article again to understand what the author wants to say.

    • someone

      Terriber Ingrrish!

    • tetamu

      I'm a muslim malay. I had Hindu neighbours before. Everyay I tolerate with the smell of their burning incense. It's not appealing to me, but I tolerated. It was in Malay dominated housing area.

      • MalayGirl

        Ya , me too . chinese are majority in my neighbourhood area . and couple of indians , i tolerated the smells , their dogs barks every night . i don;t have any problem with that , and my chinese and indian neighbors are very nice to me and my family . :)

    • TWZ

      Read and think deeper.Dun jump into conclusion 1st.

    • Read again and UNDERSTAND, sir!

    • sim

      LOL mind blown

    • TLP

      Dang, Google Translate doesn't support Engrish -> English.

    • LeroyLuar

      Huh?

    • Lena Ng

      2 points I have to make.
      1. You don't understand the article.
      2. Go for English tuition.

    • fadzil hitam

      Hey KirkTan !Hope you are the Kirk I know from Asiatic!I agree with your writings bro…This is Fadzil Hitam ex Asiatic.Am at 0196638726.SMS me if you are the friend I use to know..Even you are not …nice to know friend and your stance.

    • Riz

      Read again and (maybe) again. You will see his point ;)

    • Justin Tan

      Kindly understand the article before commenting.

  45. Felix Cheam

    Thank you very very much for your firm stand.

    It is Malay Muslims like your self who give me hope for our nation which we all love.

    Thank you.

    • Cecilia

      what stupid hope are you talking about hu??? another hypocrite without brains writing rubbish!

      • Evon

        Cecelia..

        You are very rude to say such a thing.. Do you even read to call people hypocrite. I think empty tong make the loudest noise…

      • Redapplonia

        It appears your comment is brainless and rubbish

  46. najib manaukau

    Remember respect has to be earned and not to be demanded ! Is a person eats in front of a muslim it is a good testing of how much tolerance the muslim can endure for the sake of his religion. That to me is what a person can really tolerate for the sake of his religion.
    Also are you saying that a muslim is expected to be good, kind and charitable only for one month of the year and behaves as he or she likes for the rest of the eleven months ? Why is then that briberies are being committed all year round including the muslim ministers , civil servants and the police. In fact just a few days ago when I had the misfortune to visit the road transport department to have my vehicle inspected, it was done by a muslim examiner,I was expected to put in the glove box of the vehicle 50- ringgit for the examiner to help himself when he was out 'testing' the vehicle if I wanted him to pass the test. I did that and when the vehicle came back from the road test it was passed but when I checked the glove box and sure enough the 50- ringgit was gone. No body else was in the vehicle when I passed the vehicle to the examiner for the test or was there any body else in the vehicle when it came back from the road test. What had happened to the 50- ringgit that I placed in the glove box ? All these happened in the holy month.
    In short stop calling to be respected just for the holy month but make it a point to be gain respect all year round. I would have respected the religion and even become a muslim.

    • ccchang

      The fellow who took your money had nothing to do with Islam, It just happen that he is a muslim. This could happen to any corrupt personnel of other religion. Of course, a lot of those politician use religion for their own personal agenda. These are the people we all should contempt.

      • Ben

        A muslim is a follower of Islam. That fellow is NOT a muslim, although he might call himself a muslim.

      • Sun Sulit

        …As a muslim, the muslims themselves should respect their own religion first before others by not accepting corruptions. Being corrupted Muslims they directly insulted theid OWN Religion Islam not the non-muslim. How can you say, that corruption had nothing to do with Islam?

    • Lynn

      Why are u participated in bribe when u know it is wrong? Why complained now after u allowed it to happen? Corruption takes 2 hands to clap….

      • Ben

        Fully agreed. U instigated the corruption :)

        • Chia chin ooi

          Don't give RM50 & U may have to go back for the same test more times before U get a pass. Reality hurts.

      • suburbanite73

        Lynn, although I totally agree with you on this point that 2 hands is needed to clap, I would like to share a story about my father, who was a taxi driver. Every 6 months, he has to get his taxi inspected by puspakom and if the car fails the inspection, he is not allowed to do his work and take on passengers. Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to get your vehicle passed unless the palms of the officials are greased. He had tried many times to get a pass by ensuring his cab is in tip-top condition but to no avail. This was when he first started working and on the advice of the other drivers, he paid the bribe, and the car was quickly certified fit and he could continue with his work. Hundreds of commercial vehicles pass through puspakom everyday, and it is apparently the standard practice. How do you tell a person whose livelihood depended on his vehicle, not to pay the bribe?

        • NIM

          *Sigh* While that is true, have you ever heard of lodging a report to the police?

          True, you're forced to bribe, but why didn't any of you complainer ever report this to the police AFTERWARD? You want no corruption but YOU'RE THE ONE WHO IS NOT SUPPORTING THAT VISION!

          True, the one who asks for bribe should be punished, but how is the authority suppose to know who did what without anyone telling them so? Do you think they're psychic or something?

          Seriously, instead of yapping here, you should do YOUR PART / RESPONSIBILITY as a citizen too in order to help our Government and the Authority to do their job. Stop blaming others 100%!

          P/S: Yeah, I heard your kind of story way too many times and EVERY SINGLE TIME it shows that the person who tells me this are totally self-absorbed.

          • suburbanite73

            I'm sorry NIM, but im just relating something that happened to my father, this is not something i was confronted with face to face..or did you not read what i wrote properly? Anyways, i can't speak for my father on this as he has since passed on and I can't make a report on his behalf. like i said, maybe you should try asking any of the thousands of commercial drivers, etc. who go to puspakom everyday to lodge a police report. why dont they lodge reports? or did they lodge reports? or why do they still bribe? sorry, I dont have the answers to that.

          • ppngroup

            Maybe some undercover reporter or police can take this up.

          • NIM

            Oh, oh, sorry. I didn't mean you of course. I'm talking to everyone who have the same experience, just got caught up a bit. It's just sickening when people keep blaming one party when both parties are wrong :(

          • Sun Sulit

            ..And you know NIM, even the police are equally corrupted, although majority of them are muslims. But Neverteless, not all Muslims are corrupted.

          • NIM

            Please be careful with your statement.

            They're human. Regardless of their religion, human have weaknesses, human have moment of weakness and human made lots of mistake everyday. The religion is there to guide them but religion cannot force the human to follow what it teaches them to do. That is why crimes still exist.

            It doesn't matter where you go, China, India, Singapore, United States, Japan, Korea, Syria, it will be there. So it is totally irrelevant to bring up the fact that most of the police are Muslims especially when most of the Muslims made up the majority of the police force. I'd also like to remind you the fact that most of the Red Bean Army are Chinese. They might not be involved in bribery but they involve in other sins such slandering and lying.

            So yeah, be careful with your statement.

            Anyway, as you have noticed, not everyone is corrupted. So if you didn't even try to lodge a report to bring up the issue to the authority, how are you so sure you won't get any justice?

          • Sigh-hei

            Police taking-in a bribery case against their civil brothers??…. u must be kidding me!

          • NIM

            1) Yo dude, how else did those bribery cases ever came up if it's the way how you think it is? Stop being so negative.

            2) If you're afraid to lodge a report where the accused actually works, go lodge a report at other police station. Make multiple reports in different places if you're that paranoid.

      • Zakaria

        You are right it takes two hand to clap and the person who give is worse than the person who took it and for sure the vehicle is not fit thats why need to bribe

    • MsAku78

      Yup. No point of complaining about people taking bribes. When we stop giving, people will stop demanding. It's as simple as that. People just can't stop talking and complaining about bribes and corruptions but they only blame the people who accepted bribes, not the one giving. Maybe it's about time we stop practicing the 'kow tim' culture;)

      • Fussy old hag

        Not entirely true. In our country even if you refuse to give, they'll keep on demanding and inconvene you till you give up. It's a game of "heads i win tails you lose". sure go on make your police report, make your macc reports go ahead no one's stopping you. While you wait for the relevant enforcer to act on your bribe report (if ever), your commercial vehicle remains un-certified, your source of income halted, your bills piling up and all you can do is just wait and pray. Let's see whether justice will prevail, in our beloved Malaysia.

        • NIM

          Not saying that you should be that upright. The point here is that you gotta do what gotta do (bribe) but at the same time don't forget to do something to correct it so it doesn't happen in the future (lodge a report).

          What's the point of complaining that the authority didn't do anything when THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW what is going on? Do you expect them to have some kind of magical ability to read people mind or something?

          • A Rakyat

            Sounds as if you have never been faced with a situation where you are forced to give a bribe. And I'm not talking about a traffic summons where the choice is pay RM50 to the officer to avoid getting a RM300 ticket. I'm talking about situations where your source of income depends on something.

            In all these cases, forgoing the bribe means something vital is not received. For me, it was my citizenship. Long story short, JPN was dragging their feet on granting me my citizenship (I was born overseas, my parents are Malaysian, stuff happened). I did manage to get it in the end without bribing, though — after a 16 year long battle which cost me a place in local university, my right to apply for student loans, and endless hassle for travelling and otherwise simple, everyday situations. My family and I scraped through but I honestly can't say the same for other people. An individual's fight against corruption is not as black and white as you make it out to be. Did we complain? Sure, we did. The offending officer was transferred somewhere else and replace with an equally corrupt officer. It's the way they do things. This problem cannot be overcome simply by individual action. Here's the punch-line — our efforts were faced with even MORE resistance, seemingly in punishment for daring to complain.

            In the mean time, those who want to earn their living by driving a taxi, applying for any sort of license, need approval for something, all will have to 'go with the flow'. It's either that or starve. I applaud your belief in the system, that complaining/reporting alone will somehow eventually manage to solve the problem. It is not an issue of 'they don't even know what's going on'. They do. They know very well. And they will tell you about the same thing I have told you ; 'It's just the way the world works'. Do I like it? Hell no. I don't want to accept it, either. I make a point of reporting every incident (despite the same response). Unfortunately, this IS how the world works. The system is broken. To overcome this, the whole system needs to changed, revamped, shaken from the roots.

    • Tetamu

      1. Those that do not puasa also need to tolerate too, not just the puasa one.

      2. I don't think you need to put RM50. Govt. agencies already have their own "TouchNGo" and money for everything.

      3. The person that gives bribe also guilty, same as the receiver. Next time, do not initiate.

    • Inb4stupd

      This is a silly argument. You don't judge a religion by what the adherent do. You reckon Christianity promotes child molestation just because a number of priests happened and still are happily abusing them? I guess you don't. And I'm pretty sure you are bias toward muslim only, just because you have had a few bad experiences with them.

      Next time, please judge Islam by their teaching. It is only fair. And btw, Islam does not promote bribery.

      And to elaborate further. If the ruler of the country is a just Muslim and that Islamic Law is imposed to all Muslim in Malaysia, you will see many ministers with amputated arms. Bribery and stealing of rakyats money would have been lessened considerably. So don't go blame Islam for not providing any solutions. Blame human greediness, stupidity and the Man Made Law which are not suitable to govern the Muslim.

      • ppngroup

        Do not judge any religion. It is the followers who abuse it.

      • Sunsulit

        In this case WE Malaysian shouldnt be referred according to our ethnicity or religion WE are all Malaysians and WE are rightly be called as such.

    • kukubesi

      such an assholes!

    • tong sam pah

      if there's no giver there will b no taker…..solutions. …very simple …10- yr imprisonment to the giver n 5-yr term to the taker!!!!

    • Kas

      To understand the religion, learn or read what the quran says, dont look at the people who call themselve muslim/islam. They might be born as a muslim, but not be practising the teaching of quran..i do admit there are black sheeps in the muslim community..but then again there are black sheeps in every religion who dont follow the teaching of their scriptures and stray away from the religion. So if u need to blame and pin point , blame the person not the religion.

    • S.C.Sun

      How I wish more Malays Muslims has this opinion and are aware that in trying to impose their values on others are depriving others of their rights. They must also be aware that politicians are harping on this to make it look like they are championing their rights but in actual fact dividing and rule to stay in power and destabilizing our country. It looks like the politicians are succeeding, but at what price ?

  47. Thank you for this balanced article. What Malaysia needs is more right-thinking Malay-Muslims like you.

    This is my first time here and loving it already. Keep up the great work!

  48. jauipop

    This post made me tear up a bit. Thank you for your eloquence and logic. I really do hope that more Muslims read this and start to change their mindset (well, the ones who have that sense of entitlement that has been instilled in them). Anything close to a real democracy in this country can only happen if more people in power thought like you. Thanks again.

    • kriuk...kriuk..asli

      really?? oh that's great dude. FYI there is no such a things called democracy in Islam!!! All we have is khalifah!!! when the khalifah system is implement into this nation,everything is gonna be ok!!!!

      • kriuk too

        jauipop and syah are confused about their being. In the modern scientific world religion is definitely uncool for some. Others used it for their convenience. Democracy and Islam is oxymoronic. Religion is the basis for Khalifah as you said.

      • LRN

        There is NO place for fundamentalism in religion/politics anywhere in the world.
        This articles is a MUST READ for every mature citizen in this country.

  49. Mohd Kevin

    Brother, this is what the Muslims in Malaysia should be sharing, educating the Muslims in this country of their rich religion rather than imposing laws to curtail others right and freedom. I have been to singapore where a Malay Muslim women was sitting with non-Malays during lunch break. I asked if she feel belittled by the non and to that she replied, " I am the one who is fasting and not them". I wish my Malay brothers and sisters in Malaysia could take a hint from this aunty and every time I visit spore I'll make it a point to greet her.

    • Alvin Widjaya

      I was in the States last 2 weeks. And during Ramadhan, a Malaysian Muslim colleague said “let's get a lunch break”. I responded “aren't you puasa?”

      And he replied “I'm fasting, but you guys aren't … you mean I can't watch u all eat?” … and everyone laughed. Thumbs-up to his practicing of true Muslim generosity

    • cookie006

      Enlightened person practises her own religion and force others to practise her religion as well.

    • fairplayj6

      Now than is a difference between an educated Singapore Malay and a "less" educated Malaysian Malay.

    • Abdul

      It's a shame most of the malays in Malaysia are not educated and lack what we call common sense. I am sure we can all see the difference between the malays abroad and the ones here
      Kudos to the aunty in Singapore! People like that are hard to come by these days…shame!

      • isabubk

        Come on don't generalize that all malaysian muslim behave in such a manner, I hv been in such situation and has never demanded that my non muslim colleague not to eat in front of me and there are many more like me. Just becoz u've met one singaporean malay muslim saying that, u assume all malaysian muslims are alike. Don't b so narrow minded and that goes to all who generalize us

    • Borneo Person

      PLEASE ALSO VISIT SABAH & SARAWAK WHERE ALL RACES STILL MIX….DESPITE UMNO ATTEMPT TO DIVIDE & RULE COLONIAL STYLE!

      UMNO can keep its nasty fascist & racist practices where they belong- in Malaya!

    • mungune

      thumbs up

  50. lynncheang

    Thank you for giving this timely reminder to your Muslim brothers. As a non-Muslim, we try our best to respect that Muslims are fasting and will not deliberately eat in front of Muslims but sometimes we forget and if we do, we will apologise.

    • starranise

      Apologising to all Muslims during Ramadhan when you have done nothing wrong is unnecessary. It is your right to eat or drink whenever you choose. You're not the one fasting.

      Resisting temptations is one of the fundamental motives behind fasting. It is part of a Muslim's trial. If they are offended or angry with you, they are jeopardising their own fast. Food and drink are secondary to the process of fasting. It is discipline, patience, consideration, empathy, feeling at peace with oneself and the people around you. That's the deeper meaning of Ramadhan.

      • exvasure

        i was crouching and eating my sandwich, lowering my head from being seen by a malay girl who sits in front of me in the office, and then she went like "lar makan jer lar, toksah takut, aku yang puasa, bukan nye hang" everyone in the office had a good laugh : D

        • sarah

          I always see this in my office too. Most muslims I know don't really take offense in non-muslims eating in front of them. Mutual respect comes into play. At the office, when there is a gathering, we don't serve beef because there was one hindu in the group. We prepare vegetarian food for our vegetarian friends and recently, a friend told a story of how she was the only muslim in the meeting yet they didn't serve the usual meeting delicacies. and I was in Johor recently, and was listening to the church bells ring the evening before Sunday and was thinking, how great it was to be in this country, where the azan sounds and the church bells rings. And we have religion processions of all varieties. this is about having a beautiful respect for one another's religion and its the beauty of Malaysia.

          I for the most part, find this article interesting because it speaks of a condition ascribed to a majority, when in reality, is it really the majority of malay muslims who behave this way?

          • lynncheang

            Sarah, you'd be surprised. My sister-in-law who's now retired from the civil service used to tell us that she and other non-Muslim staff also suffer cos if they do eat in the office, they will receive hurtful remarks from Muslim colleagues that they were not respecting them.

          • hogwash1964

            I was in government service too. Yes, it was commanded to us that we should not eat in the open during the fasting month, whilst in secret it is those who commanded thus who placed surreptitious orders with us for a meal to be sneaked into their offices. This then was the height of hypocrisy when superiors try to wick up both guilt and sympathy from those who in their own calendar dates, also observe periods of fast with substantially less fanfare.

          • ANON

            MALAYSIA UMNO STYLED FREEDOM

          • gadiylim

            Reminds me of the school canteen in toilet incident last year. Ridiculous.

          • Akmal

            yup I guess it's a matter of perspective. Isolated cases of course. Muslims and non-Muslims alike, why you so touchy?? Take a chill pill.

          • ikram

            the only time i take offense if you deliberately dont invite me for buka puasa >.<

      • bverytighsdwjk

        Why apologetic when u a doing something naturally!

        • Ash Menon

          I think the apology has nothing to do with religion. It's simply one person who sees another person fasting, and presumes that person is hungry/thirsty, and feels like he/she might be making the hunger/thirst worse by eating/drinking in front of the other person. It's a simple humanitarian wish to not cause discomfort to another person. Like apologizing when you are walking in front of someone else in the cinema and blocking their view.

    • anon

      Lapdog alert!

    • Ricardo

      Once again Thank You very much for bringing this up and indeed through of what you all have said. I was in Iran many years ago during the fasting month. My friends and I did not eat in front of our fellow Iranian friends as a matter of respect (anyway not many food stalls were opened) but the unexpected happened, our fellow Iranian friends who were our interpreters brought us food and fruits from their home the following day and for the rest of the duration of our stay in Iran.
      We were very surprised and gratified how fellow citizens from an Islamic Republic can be so kind and offer us the necessities and not mind us eating during the fasting month when they are around. When we asked them this, they told us "It is us who are fasting and not you" and obviously we wondered somewhere remote and it without their presence having this good feeling.
      Generally speaking, my fellow friends and colleagues too do not mind but I guess it is those who are being hypocritical behaves this way which really a sad tale to tell in our country.

    • Shah.

      Actually, I've never seen any muslim who demanded to be respect during ramadhan month…
      I dont even know what is the point of this article?????
      I've seen alot of ppl eating in the bazaar ramadhan. But never once I see a muslim turns an angry face to them.
      So…… :

      • edmund

        Shah, you're lucky. It happens all the time especially in schools. The canteen closes during fasting month and non-Muslim students are berated and in one case even punished for bringing food into the school to eat during recess.

        • Lily

          Perhaps this is an isolated case. I'm teaching in a school where the canteen stays open during Ramadhan and the canteen operators are malay muslims. Non-muslim students go around the school with their food and drinks in hand during recess and the muslim students just couldn't be bothered.

          • Ash Menon

            I'm afraid not. This was the norm in my schools (I was in a total of 5 schools during primary + secondary). Most of them were nice, but you'd get the bunch that hunted down the non-Muslims and then claimed that the non-Muslims were blatantly eating/drinking in front of the Muslims.

        • arathy

          my primary school teacher made me stand outside for drinking water inside the class :(

      • joe

        Shah, a malay teacher in my nephew's school (chinese primary school) instructed students in class that they shouldn't eat in front the muslim students during the fasting month. They should respect the muslim students by not eating or drinking in front of them. This is in a school with 99% non-muslim students. Where should the non-muslim students go & do during school lunch break?
        Those days (25 -30 years ago) when i was in a secondary school (small town) with 70% muslim & 30% non-muslim, the canteen still opened & the muslim students were advised to go to a reserved area in the school during lunch break during fasting month! Neighbours who invite friends over for makan-makan (raya, wedding,etc) ensures that no beef is served. What has changed since then ? Nowadays, even chicken & beef burgers are grilled together – see Mc Donalds. But then Hindu's always have a choice.

        Anyway, I try my very best never to eat or drink in front of my muslim friends as a sign of respect as i know they will never do the same. I believe, the question here, is that respect should be mutual.

        I will like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslims " SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI" & God bless you all.

      • Anger

        He just don't like being muslim..angry with himself more probably..

        • Angel

          When a person is in anger, the comment also tak betul ,lari gao gao..Go for meditation kid, to calm yourself down and think rationally!

    • sic_it

      Frankly, Non-Muslims need not apologize if we ate in front of Muslims. They're the ones fasting and not us. Others also fast or abstain at some time according to their religious practice. Should I be disgusted if someone eats meat in front of me if I'm vegetarian or you eat a sacred animal of my religion? my religion tells me to fast without telling anyone. In fact, freshen one's face to look as if not fasting.

      I would agree that a Muslim should feel insulted if someone deliberately teases or taunts Muslims that are fasting with "Mmmm… Sedapnya minum air ni… Batal lah Puasa… Tak da orang nampaklah…." By all means, scold him for showing no respect!

      • cloudlong

        I think the apology is not because we are eating in front of them but as friend who had cause temptation to them. Just like when we do something that is our right but may cause inconvenience to others, we apologies for the inconvenience caused.

    • Jong

      Respect others first before you expect others to respect you. Summons blaring at full blast at 5 am, indiscriminate parking every Friday. Is this what you call respecting others?

      • ikram

        i think its just give and take. like how people double park during mass, or first day of school where the local temple will have traffic jam because parents want to get blessings for their kids. the sound of the hindu temple bell and bangsar gets jammed up. night market traffic.

        Sorry if our azan fulls blasts at 545am. but for some non muslims, they take it as an alarm clock.

    • Wan Ishak

      Do not worry brother, for the learned and knowledgeable such things do not exist. Once engaged nothing can prevent him from observing his fast to the end. In fact he would be better off if being enticed with all those juicy temptations.

    • Umair

      What Islam actually says regarding this .. so if anyone of us is offended .. quote us our own Prophet (peace be upon him) ^_^

      Reported by Umm `Umarah Al-Ansariyah (RA): Once the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited us and I served him some food. He (peace be upon him) asked me to eat. I replied that I was observing (optional) fast. He (peace be upon him) said, "When people eat by a person observing fast, the angels keep asking Allah's forgiveness for that person until they have had their fill.''

      (Narrated in Al-Tirmidhi)

    • Matthews

      Love you Marina and may God continue to bless you with wisdom and good health.

    • IslamHatingSyah

      Bro you are feeling restricted by Islam but you should not confuse it with being a Malay in the Federated Malay States. If you hate yourself for being a Muslim but dare not leave it why not blame your mother for giving birth to you?
      Stop your black heart towards others. Your hatred of Islam is showing but you should direct it to the Arabs not Malays hehe..
      Malays don't take offense as seriously as the Arabs. They are easy going as Mat Sabu or Tok Pa will tell you about Islam.

    • Desmond

      No, we don't apologise…
      We don't need to stop eating in front of a fasting Muslim, or a fasting catholic, or a fasting any-type-of-label, follow your religion, don't expect me me..

    • mizzyoska

      I am Catholic and live in one of the European countries. I have been fasting every Friday for the last 15+ years. What we were taught at my congregation was that everything we do for and/or in the name of God is only between us and God. That means I never thought of scolding anyone for eating in front of me and the thought of that being an insult/disrespect or distraction to my fasting never occurred to me either. If anything, it only helped me strengthen my resolve. What other people are doing is their business, and what I'm committing myself to is my business.