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Friday, June 01, 2012

The sad truth about Intolerance

 Chinese drums. Intolerable noise.

This is a true but sad story.

Two school-children, aged 12 and 9, came home and told their father a rather tragic story. About intolerance. In their school environment. The school they attend is situated less than 10 meters away from a large Surau.

The kids were attending extra-curricular activities during the mid year school holidays. In this case they were practicing their Chinese drum routines in their school hall. Together with more than 20 other children. At around 2PM a Muslim lady came and chided the children's drum teacher about being insensitive about "other people's" culture and religion. And didn't they know that there were Muslims in the surau who were performing their prayers? She also said that the drum practices disturbed her afternoon naps. Minutes later a Muslim gentleman came and accosted the drum group for "tak ada otak ke?" for not being sensitive to the Muslims gathered in the surau for Friday prayers. This gent, according to the children, were much less polite than the lady. The 9 year old boy insisted that the man had used a 4-letter word although his sister said she didn't hear it. The man was very angry about having his Friday prayers disturbed by the sound of the Chinese drum class. And his tirade against the drum teacher took place in front of an audience of children aged between 8 and 12 years old. And according to the girl this man kept poking the chest of her drum teacher in his anger to make his point.

Okay, it's may be just a small case of bickering neighbours. But here is the tragically sad part.

Unprompted by any comment from her father the girl asked innocently and without malice, "Papa why are they so angry that we are practising our drums when we don't complain when their surau loudspeakers are turned on really loud and disturb our lessons?"

Where did this happen? In a rural school? In Afghanistan?

No. It happened in Bandar Utama. In the heartland of the Selangor urban middle-class.



Anonymous said...

The empty vessel makes the loudest noise. Pun intended.

monsterball said...

My sister became a S'porean at the age of 21 and she is now 80 years old.
All her children have migrated to Australia and USA.
One of the main reason why these Malaysians stayed on and be S'poreans is partly due to Lee Kuan Yew left Malaysia and most want a Malaysian Malaysia or nothing.
So they became S'poreans proudly..ONE RACE.
All S'poreans needs is to work hard and everyone can earn a way or another.
Come for enjoyment and holidays...there is nothing much in S;pore so S"poreans go to Haadyai and Malaysia.
Their money is like US $...and their holidays are cheap and everyone can afford one.
Life is S'pore is only good to earn a living...for S'pore is competing with Hong Kong and win hands down in businesses and trades...thus people are needed always.
To conclude...S'pore cannot progress like what it is today..WITHOUT Malaysian Chinese flocking in my the thousands every year for decades.
I never like to live in S'pore..but all my children are educated there.
Thank God...I have a sis and a wonderful brother in law and their children ..where my children grew up with...and we meet every weekend...for years...until all have wings to fly and build their own families.

Anonymous said...

I can name at least 5 things I hate about our otherwise great country and all of them have to do with the practice of Islam peculiar to this country.

It is sad how when an otherwise beautiful religion is distorted to be a tool of oppression.

Tiger said...

Perhaps there is not enough tolerance from both sides.
So the people from the Mosque should apologise for turning on the speakers too loud and vice versa.

SolitaireHunter said...

Good job bro, with your articles we hope Khalid will order to shut down the Surau! Then we demolish all masjid nationwide! Ah pek rules!

SolitaireHunter said...

Good work bro. We can instruct Khalid to shut the surau and whole masjid nationwide. Ah Pek rules!!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the school HM mentioned here and also the middle class people in BU has got no balls to stand-up for their rights.

Anonymous said...

Two wrongs do not make a right

Anonymous said...

In Bolehland, when Allah fights Kuan Gong or Jesus, Choy San wins every time.

Anonymous said...


A real life lesson for the kids to understand - might is right.

A twisted understanding of the majority ruled democracy!

Still want 1Malaysia????

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, in order to fairly judge this event, I'd like hear the testimonials from the primary sources i.e. the drum teacher, the muslim lady and the muslim gentleman. However, since these sources are not conveniently accessible nor available to me, i will assume Patrick's version of the story as "the true event". Having said that, i have a few questions, non-rhetorical, just to get a clearer picture;

1. When did the practising/drumming took place? Was it between 1-2pm on a Friday?

2. On day-to-day basis, how are the surau's loudspeakers being utilize? Aside from call-for-prayers i.e. "azan", do they use them for other purposes e.g. quran recital/ceramah/etc ??

Anonymous said...

Why are you surprised? The division and hatred have been 'preached' for the past 22 years in their so called 'religious' center.
I was on my way to the park this morning and passed by a mosque and guess what was preached at 7am? Defend your race and religion against those pendatang! It was blasted for all to hear! You think it will ever change? Not in the next 100 years! Disgusted!

Anonymous said...

what can we say more ... they think they are superior. that's why they want to keep the ketuanan melayu title. whatever they did is right and others wrong. i heard indonesia got more tolerance than here.

mf2_hd said...

I'm a chinese. For many years I've learn to accept the facts that Mosque blast their prayers through loud speakers even as early as 5am, but it's cool cause I respect their way of life. What I cannot accept is that these are kids they are shouting at. Kids who at their age questions without fear or prejudice. No wonder my chinese-ed friends secretly hated the Malays. It is cases like this that instills hatred in the mind of the young.

patrickteoh said...

I agree with your very sensible approach, Anonymous 12:00PM. But the story isn't about race or religion. It is just about some stupid people.

Who gave approval to build a school so close to a large Surau? They should have known that with a school of that size there is bound to be noise. From sports. From drum classes. From traffic.

Who would rave and rant in front of a group of impressionable primary school children?

Who would use race and religion to get their point about noise across? In front of children?

How would these people answer an innocent child asking why it happened when they didn't mind the noise of the surau during classes?

To answer your questions. The incident did happen around 2PM. I do not know the answer to the other question. But I am sure it could have been resolved amicably by all parties if cool heads had been maintained.

patrickteoh said...

Solitaire Hunter, nobody is asking anybody to demolish anything. We just need better town planning. Why do you have to suggest something like that?

pilocarpine said...

Because solitaire is the cyber-version of that real life poker.

Anonymous said...

Dear Patrick,
The Surau should make a police report. PDRM will then open an investigation. Ibrahim will then hold a protest. Moohideen will then move the school to some remote corner. Chua will ask Najib for 50million to relocate the school. Najib will then announce in the media of this great 1Malaysia development. The nation will get to know all about this in the MSM. This will then open the eyes of the nation of what is happening.


Anonymous said...

Who [individually or collectively] is responsible for the polarization that had grown worse in these last 30 years or so? Was it the instigators of May 13 [not those who were celebrating a victory]?Was it the education policies that took the nation into a downward spiral after English was flushed and racially divided schools were created?Was it the policies of economic divisions which created an elitist class? Was it and is it the almost sickening state of affairs in all public sector institutions run by a [almost] single race and religion. Is it the equation of race and religion? And finally , is it the justification of evil as that which is good, in a leadership which is blind to real justice and righteousness, without at all times refrencing race, religion and now lately anyone who opposes them?

Anonymous said...

Just to put this in some perspective, before all you Malaysiakini-reading bigots blow this all out of proportion. And that includes you, Mr Teoh.

I am a christian resident of Bandar Utama, and an active member of the RA there. Yes, in the committee are some Muslims who are also in the surau committee.

The event happened on a Friday, and during this school break. You and I already know the Friday prayers are sacrosanct. Why the hell did the school drum practice had to happen right smack on a Friday afternoon?

The Muslim congregants and residents have had good neighbourly relations in the past, and we intend to keep it that way. The school board and the surau committee have worked together in many issues that confront them. There is no point in talking about why and who were there first. They got dealt with the hand, and they are making the best of it.

But, you chinese dimwits need to also know that many of the parents with kids in the school also behave like idiots. They park their cars willy-nilly, do U turns at the T junctions, when there are sufficient parking at the community hall just some 100 metres away.

There have been skirmishes between such chinese parents who would scratch the congregants cars, shouting matches, etc.

Please know that the surau committee also cannot control some of their congregants behaviour, in the same way the PIBG cannot control the parents.

If you don't live there, your fcuking commenters should tone down their comments and stop stoking the non-existent fires.

I think us adults on both side of the divide should stop planting seeds of intolerance.

Olly said...

The racial polarisation is caused by the ruling government and its component parties not accepting the success of the opposition parties. We are all Malaysians and have a right to govern the country. This racial discord was created by UMNO and it's associates to retain power more likely to continue the rape of the country and preventing scrutiny of their unscrupulous activities,

daniel said...

Hi Pat, given that there had been almost no new chinese school that was built in the last 20 years, is there a possibility that the question that needs to be asked is: "Who gave the approval to build the surau so near to a large chinese school?"

Anonymous said...

Hi Patrick...

I'm a muslim... actually, those two people tak tahu one big secret... if you tengah sembahyang and you diganggu... bunyi bising (drum, kids etc), panas (suddenly no fan or air-cond) or what... actually you"re been tested whether you can stand the test and finish your sembahyang... and if you can stand the test... it's much better than prayer without been tested...

Anonymous said...

Truly 1 malaysia Niamah

Eric Mudasi said...

Wikileaks: Langley targeting Al Qaeda cells in Malaysia

For your Eyes Only:

National Command Authority

NDAA Sections H.R. 2647
Title XII Subtitle B - Success in Countering Al Qaeda Reporting Requirements Act of 2009

03:12, May 30th 2012

National Command Authority

Gen. David Petraeus, Director CIA

CinC Pac

Combat Information Centre,
Global Strike Command

Requisition #: FX3-HAPUS

Operation 'Masak-Masak Otak Udang'
Objective: Paint & Neutralize Al Qaeda Installations

Objective 1: UMNO HQ
Latitude: 3.1689 Longitude: 101.691
Menara Dato Onn, Putra World Trade Centre, 45, Jalan Tun Ismail, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Objective 2: JAKIM
Latitude: 2.958384 Longitude: 101.704369
Block D7, Govt. Administrative Center, Putrajaya, Malaysia,

Objective 3: BTN
Latitude: 2.936762 Longitude: 101.696641
Aras 1 Blok B3 62502 Putrajaya

Delivery System: RQ-1A Predator
Payload: AGM-114 Hellfire



Anonymous said...

Solitaire hunter,
Mind your racist comment,i'm really upset with your commented.Peole like you who always make chaos for the small issue. In this situation both party should meet and discuss in proper way,they should expressed they concerned regarding the issue.

Anonymous said...

setuju dengan patrick. Ini bukan masalah kaum dan agama. Kalau la yg datang nak marah dan kurang ajar dengan yg main dram tu cakap elok2...takde la timbul isu. Benda boleh bincang...yg bodohnya tak bincang...he#

Anonymous said...


Lian said...

Town Planner's fault.Either he/she is brain dead or a sicko. Chinese school beside a surau? Extremely potent concoction bearing in mind the existence of the great Ketuanan people. Town Planner must be UITM grad or a rabblerouser.Ha, tengok tu. Tengok apa yang hang telah buat? Mangkuk betul.

Anonymous said...

Dear Patrick: I believe the school and the surau in question were built at about the same time when Bandar Utama was developed. Talking about why they were built next to each other, do you know that in the little township of Bandar Utama there are no less than ten scholls of various types, the SKs, SMKs, SRJK(C)s, SRJK(T)s and so on? I think these schools were allocated and located when Bandar Utama was first developed. We also hear some "background stories" of lands meant for public utilities and infrastructure purposes surrendered by the developer to the State government were hijacked by various "connected and linked parties and entities" and developed into blocks of condos and offices. What we get is daily traffic congestion in the surrounding areas and even "mata-matas" are required to direct traffic at some "country road" (jalan kampongs) junction. Talking about approval of school building, do you know that The SRJK(C) at Sunway Damansara that was built more than ten years ago? The school was "mooted, planned and built" within a span of less than SIX MONTHS? The school building was modern and classrooms were air-conditioned. It was a Kerajaan Persekutuan project and it footed the whole bill, unlike other SRJK(C)s where they would have to mend their own fences. Sorry I digress. What I am trying to get at is the school is situated right at the T-junction of Sunway Damansara and the overhead road across the NKVE leading to Tropicana, Kota Damansara and the likes. Imagine the the congestion during school and office going and return hours. If there are any clear thinking and good planning of school, there would have to be locate somewhere else. But then what are them when you are acting out of political expediency?

1Malasfler said...

This is Najib's 1Malaysia... perhaps he meant 1 kind only!

Anonymous said...

that's why i always tell my friends, go karaoke every friday also no use if the heart is full of hatred.

Lez Leslie said...

Anonymous 1.03pm. You hit the nail on the head. People are just making mountains out of molehills. Whoever is aggrieved should complain through the proper channel. In this instance, the affected parent should complain to the HM of the school. The school, the surau and the resident associations maintain excellen relationship with one another and we should leave it to them to resolve the issue if there was ever one. Outsiders who know neither head nor tail should abstain from aggravating the situation. And Patrick, sometime the way an incident is reported could result in unintended consequences.

George Orwell said...

Malaysia is Animal Farm.

Some pigs are more equal than others!

Anonymous said...

the anonymous at 1:03 should just grow some balls. instead of condemning your own race and calling them dim wits and kow towing to your masters you should be the one to look into this situation as a whole. why fault the school children for the fallacy of the adults.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:33

Wah, you sound like a big man. With big balls.

You should read my comment again before jumping to conclusion that I'm faulting the school children. By the way, my daughter is in THAT drum class, but that doesn't make it right.

If you think by pursuing understanding between races mean kow-towing to a so-called master, then you should start a crusade and show us how supreme the chinese race is.

You must be one of those parents who are ingraining in their kids how supreme your own race is.

K. said...

Why can't drum practices happen outside of the prayer time?

Simple problem, easy solution.

Nik said...

Again I think this is a case of a not well veirified report. I am a resident of BU and pray at the Surau there. There has been clear efforts by the Surau committee to ensure the Azan is kept to low volumes as we are in a neighborhood. Obviously the person who arranged the drum classes at a time smack bang in the middle of Friday prayers took leave of their senses.
And yes the Surau member should have pulled the teacher to one side before giving him a piece of his mind.
Thus let us make a mountain out of a mole hill on this issue.

Voyance pure said...

thank you for all this information using its well gans, to enlarge their knowledge and well against new information.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:47

the two adults involved i.e. the malay lady and the malay guy were both rude and confrontational.

is there a need to be so confrontational and rude in front of kids. and here we are trying to teach tolerance to the kids. see the irony in it dim wit?

Anonymous said...

What's wrong? They can pray, we can play. Please learn to respect that. They can blast speakers, we can blast drums.

Want some heavy metals to go along with it?

Anonymous said...

Just accept the fact malaysia is a screwed up country. Non-malays just leave la. Stop bitching

Anonymous said...

We become intolerant becos we think we live in this world alone!

Anonymous said...

Tolerance -why is it during the Chinese New Year that drums are being played at ridiculously loud levels for great lengths of time and fireworks that are soo loud that they sound like machine guns. At least the Muslim call for prayer only lasts a few minutes. This drum playing and fireworks is torture and whatever good thoughts I had of the Chinese people being kind to thy neighbour surely isn't on the list!

Anonymous said...

I am a Muslim and finds it offensive for folks in any surau, especially ones built on political basis, who are arrogant and blast out their loudspeakers almost every day( and night) screaming to their heart contents on what seems as trivialities and misappropriation of rights to do whatever they want in this blessed country of us. Right now if you were to be in my kitchen, some 200 yards away, from the surau (now made into a mosque) you could hardly have a decent conversation with your guests or your family without raising your voice.. Too loud...... They are the empty vessels in this case, no doubt about it. I belong to the old generation of Muslims who are tolerant of other's rights to their individual religious practice. The current generation is a product of a polarised system of education. Where have all the vision of our founding fathers have gone? I sympathiise with the children, Muslim and non Muslim, who have to endure the disturbance created by those empty vessels while they are trying to focus on their lessons. Be considerate is all we asked for . Nothing more.