Much has been hyped about the rights of certain groups to do this and that in our country. Even though the powers that be has the final say in many of these issues, the rights of certain groups seem to have been prioritized to the detriment of others. Let us look at the latest three issues that have hit the local headlines. These being the Better Beer Festivals, Gay Festival and Muslim Only Laundy. Discussing these three issues may necessitate looking at other issues being ‘kept under the carpet’, so to speak, all this while.
Let us begin with the Better Beer Festival. Drinking per se is not in question here. It is when the drinking culture is in need to be celebrated in a grand scale; that is when it begin to impose upon others a value which is universally unacceptable, at least among the more religiously inclined portions of Malaysians. Is there any religion which allow its followers to be drunk? Is there any society for that matter who judge being under the influence as positive?
Tragedies as the results of drinking behavior are too numerous to count. Several years back, a staff of USM in Penang was killed when he was struck down and dragged for about 700 meters by a car driven by a drunkard. (I personally observed the gruesome drag marks left on the road after the accident!!). Much more recently, also in Penang, a young lady under the influence (albeit not through drinking), drove against traffic resulting in an accident involving several vehicles. Sadly, a young husband’s life was perished. I don’t have to ram down the readers throats other gory examples to drive home the fact that drinking culture shouldn’t be glorified and celebrated. Only those with vested interest will pursue and support such things. Beer producers, event promoters, pub owners, tax collectors??
For the non-drinkers, who is protecting their rights not to be harmed by the effects of the drinking culture? For the two examples above, the offenders will most like get a ‘slap on their wrists’ as punishments for their crimes. How about the lives of the families affected? How do you replace a husband and a father? How should those that are left behind be truly compensated?
Any God obeying people will strive to live by Gods rules. And in any God obeying society, being sober, being clean and not being promiscuous in any way are some of the virtues that are sought after. By arguing for the minority to impose their values on the majority, are we saying that majority’s rights these virtuous values shouldn’t be respected? Must the majority be made to meekly surrender to the immoral behaviors of the drunkards and the sexually deviant? Is it not obvious that these miscreant lifestyles lead to other social issues: drug use, prostitution, boisterous behaviors, broken up families?
On the Muslim Only Laundry issue, who is protecting the owner and users from ‘unclean’ things that may be brought into his laundry? How are they to be sure of the ‘cleanliness’ of the laundry facilities when any Tom, Dick and Harry can come and use as they please the same facilities available at the site. For those who have some idea on how muslims need to clean what is considered as ‘najis berat’ – things associated with dogs and pigs in general, it is not as simple as having the contaminated items washed with water and soap. There are specific guidelines to it. Isn’t prevention better than cure here? Isn’t the owner protecting his and his client’s rights to not having their clothing soiled with ‘najis berat’?
Isn’t it perverted that the minority can make demands to impose their values on the majority? Where is the justice in that?
Whose rights are more right than others rights?