ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why white instead of red?

Sulaiman Kamal | 5:37 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Red colour is always used for decoration during events held to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Red tablecloth is used while red packets, commonly known as ang pow, are distributed to children and senior citizens. However, Malay rights group Perkasa had recently used white tablecloth and distributed white packets during its Chinese New Year Open House at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampung Baru, sparking condemnation from the public as white colour is used by the Chinese only during funerals.
Was it an intentional move or unintentional mistake due to the lack of understanding of Chinese taboo?
Based on Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali's records, many remain sceptical even after they have explained and apologised.

Ibrahim explained that they had no intention to give out ang pow initially but decided to distribute them when deputy president Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar agreed to sponsor the ang pow money during the meeting at 10am. However, they failed to get red packets and bought white envelopes instead.
It is a reasonable argument for not being able to get red packets in Kampung Baru since it is a Malay-majority area. However, why were they using white tablecloth? Since the Perkasa had invited Chinese guests, why didn't they consult them? They should first understand Chinese customs and taboos before holding a Chinese New Year Open House to avoid offences. Just like before Chinese people invite Malay friends for a Hari Raya celebration event, they must first understand Malay customs.
It reminded me of the incident when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak attended a Christmas Open House in 2010, his aide asked the church officials to remove crucifixes from the event premises. The disturbances triggered by the act had destroyed the good-intentioned effort to communicate, while causing unnecessary suspicion.
The BN makes good efforts to fight for support. Sometimes, however, the efforts backfire due to some minor mistakes, such as bureaucracy and attitude of civil servants.
The Perkasa has always supported the BN. The Chinese New Year Open House was held with an intention to change the Chinese impression on the Perkasa. Unfortunately, it backfired and scared the Chinese away.
From another perspective, Ibrahim claimed that the first Chinese New Year Open House held by the Perkasa was intended to prove that it was not a racist group. Could the "bleaching" be so easily done just by inviting the Chinese for an event?
To remove the racist label, they must prove it through their words and deeds, instead of just saying a few good words and distributing a few white packets.
We can still remember that when a secondary school principal made the "go back to China" remarks, the Perkasa had supported the principal. During the Bumiputera Economic Congress, Ibrahim had also told Najib that the Perkasa refused to accept the New Economic Model (NEM). The Perkasa had even shouted and burned enlarged pictures of controversial rapper Wee Meng Chee or better known as Namewee, in front of the Chinese Assembly Hall. We can hardly forget about these bits and pieces.
However, many organisations and politicians will find opportunities to "bleach themselves" before the election. Perhaps, because of the allegation saying that Chinese voters are not supporting the BN, the Perkasa held the Chinese New Year Open House to try to erase the memory of the Chinese, and tell the Chinese that it is not an extreme group.
There are many other double-faced politicians in Malaysia and such a political tactic has lead to a stagnation in the country's political progress.
Even the Perkasa had distributed white packets. We can thus assume that the general election is not far away. Let's keep our eyes open and observe clearly!


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