There is some form of fascination with toilet in Malaysia recently. No help was given by the Malaysian authority when Muslims had to pray in or within a public toilet due to lack of surau or Muslim prayer room. Toilet had sadly become some Muslims’ de facto surau. Indirectly, this was condoned by Malaysian Islamic authority in Perak. The authority did not take any action to date. This has however not been made public news.
You can further read about how a Malaysian school made a fashionable twist by creating an eating canteen out of a bathroom/changing room, side by side a toilet. No kidding. I would however not say that this should be a general trend in Malaysia.
The Malaysian fascination or great tolerance for toilet is not shared in their tolerance for other religions. Malaysian government agency under the ruling Barisan Nasional regime could be very intolerant when it came to other religions using surau or Muslim prayer room as a place for prayer or meditation. This act of Buddhist meditating in a surau has been made widespread public news and covered extensively by local newspapers.
|Buddhist Meditation in a Surau|
The owner of a resort, who allowed the resort’s surau to be used by Buddhists in meditation, had been arrested. The owner is a Muslim himself. His Permanent Residence status in Malaysia has since been revoked although it was not clear what his crime was. The surau has also been demolished my the Malaysian authority despite strong objections to the demolition.
Surprisingly, Parti Se-Islam Malaysia, PAS took a different perspective to the whole incident. PAS was more keen to look at the cause of the problem and had discreetly advised against over reaction to the meditation issue and other deemed sensitive incidences. A statement released by PAS:
Orang kita memang sensitif…
Orang kita memang sensitif dengan berita surau diguna oleh non-muslim baru-baru ini, baru sedar selama ini rumah-rumah Allah banyak yang sunyi.
Orang kita memang sensitif dengan berita tokoh agama poligami, baru sedar ramai rupanya selama ini anak-anak kita ramai berpacaran tanpa nikah tapi sudah seperti laki bini.
Orang kita memang sensitif dengan video menyambut raya sambil pegang anjing atau babi, baru sedar selama ini banyak adegan lelaki perempuan bukan muhrim berpegang tangan berpeluk-pelukan setiap hari disiarkan di TV.
Orang kita memang sensitif dengan berita tulisan selamat hari raya dicetak terbalik dalam tulisan jawi, baru sedar selama ini AlQuran yang dicetak betul hanya hiasan almari.
Orang kita memang sensitif dengan isu gadis Melayu menyertai pertandingan ratu cantik tidak menutup aurat nampak body, baru sedar selama ini ramai gadis Melayu tanpa masuk pertandingan ratu cantik pun berpakaian begini.
Orang kita memang sensitif dengan berita makanan yang disyaki ada DNA babi, baru perasan sebenarnya rokok yang ramai hisap memang sudah difatwakan haram selama ini.
Teguran dan muhasabah ini untuk kebaikkan bersama
In contrast, this intolerant, which seems to be confined mainly to the ruling regime UMNO supporters in Malaysia, was not shared by Egyptians. Egyptian Muslims were holding hands and form a protective circle to protect a church and the church-goers.
|Muslims ringing and protecting the Coptic Church of St. George in Sohag, Egypt|
At the same time, a team of Egyptian Christians forming a massive human shield to protect their Muslim countrymen as they prayed during the violent protests.
There is such a phenomena of Muslims defending churches, Christians protecting Muslims during Friday prayer in Egypt.
Christians in Britain seem to have a more liberal view these days when it comes to religions and prayers. Hundreds of Muslims were able pray in a nearby Church during bitter cold and snowing winter. You can read the BBC news further here.
Across the border of Malaysia in Southern Thailand, there was a totally different situation. Buddhist monks have been seen to have regularly prayed alongside Muslims in mosques. They ate together too. I am puzzled and find it impossible to explain the Thai religious harmony in sharp contrast to Malaysian intolerant.
|Buddhist Monks and Muslims eating together|
|Buddhist Monks and Muslims in Southern Thailand|
There was no explanation of any specific reason why the Buddhist monks were regularly praying together with Muslims. The above Southern Thailand photographs were extracted from and with credit to news portal HERE and blog HERE.
Given the great tolerance or fascination with toilet but intolerance for religious co-existence in Malaysia, it is perhaps not a good situation for the country to be in. What do you think?