As a Muslim and Malay, I was actually deeply offended with the antics by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) at the Cabinet Ministers’ Hari Raya Open House. I know a lot of my other friends and relatives were angry too, some much more than me. The anger was not due to the reports by Utusan Malaysia or TV3, and not because of the remarks made by Syed Hamid Albar.
Aidil Fitri is a religious day when the Muslims celebrate the end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan. Islamic teachings encourage Muslims to celebrate the day by performing prayers and visiting fellow Muslims. Muslims all over the world would traditionally visit one another to strengthen the Muslim brotherhood and celebrate their achievement in completing a full month of fasting during the daytime in Ramadhan.
In Malaysia, the celebration is extended to other fellow Malaysians in Malaysian-styled Hari Raya Open Houses. Muslims in Malaysia would also traditionally invite their non-Muslim counterparts to their houses. It is not compulsory, but just a tradition and an act of courtesy.
At the Cabinet Ministers’ Open House, Hindraf took the opportunity to show their strength in numbers and with their brightly coloured outfits to barge into the Muslim religious celebration. Their intention is clearly to embarrass the Prime Minister and other Muslim Cabinet Ministers. They were not there to celebrate Hari Raya nor to wish the celebrating Muslims Selamat Hari Raya.
Hindraf defended their actions by saying that it was an open invitation to all Malaysians. They claimed that they came in peace and with the spirit of forgiveness. The least that they should do is to respect a clearly religious celebration and not turn it as a political rally. The Hindraf action was clearly pre-meditated as they may have informed their pro-Hindraf journalists of their intention.
I am not a member of UMNO, and I am not their coolies. But I think I represent the majority view of Malays with regards to Hindraf’s actions at the Hari Raya Open House.
Hindraf’s game plan is to continue to be visible and show their strength in numbers. They will use their numbers in the legal profession to sue whoever they perceived to have shown their darker side.
I am still waiting for Hindraf’s formal apology for tarnishing Malaysia’s image with their vile memorandum. I have stopped eating at Indian restaurants because of that.