The last nail in the coffin
We have all heard of the saying about the final nail in the coffin. Something that happens that puts a close to something. Permanently. But do you know how the final nail going into the coffin SOUNDS like? Okay, listen up...the final nail sounds like this...
Nasyid yes, gospel choir no, says JKKN
I am sure you are familiar with the recent controversy surrounding the announcement that one of the conditions of use of auditoriums managed by Culture and Arts Department (JKKN) is that performances must not contain any elements of religious rituals either before, during or after the performance. But yesterday the folks at JKKN came out and announced that Nashyid performances are okay. But not gospel choirs. Why? Nasyid is chant in Arabic and is merely a music style or genre. Whereas Gospel is music written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief on Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music.
So what the fuck difference does it make to you flers managing a big hall? In case you've been sleeping for the past half century or so, Malaysia is a multi-cultural, multi-religious country. There are Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhist citizens living here. And they pay taxes to build those auditoriums. And pay your salaries for managing them. And they will want to use them for their own religious or cultural events. So why can't they? Will having a Muslim event, say about spreading the beauty of Islam to non-Muslims not be allowed? Will having a programme of traditional Christian songs be banned? Will a presentation on the life of the Buddha be viewed as dangerously effective in converting other Malaysians of weak or little faith in their own beliefs?
I wonder if JKKN will approve Shakespeare's MacBeth? Got 3 witches ma. Surely, that is against somebody's religious beliefs. No?
Oh sorry, I forgot to mention. The coffin I was referring to is of course our Najib Razak's 1Malaysia coffin. I am glad the final nail is in. Aren't you?