Today, it seems as though Malaysia is trying on its own tied shoe laces. And the latest brouhaha is over a Teochew dish called 'bak kut teh' or 'pork rib soup and tea'. Now we know the consumption of pork for Muslims, is 'haram' or illicit according to the precepts of Islam.
But Malaysia is a racist society which discriminates against its Chinese or Indian citizens in ways write large and small. Licences for businesses are hard to come by for them, without bribes or greasing palms in one way or another.
Chinese food hawkers full well know that by adding 'hallal' [licit or 'kotheir sher'] a food licence is easier to obtain. Since the Teochew fare is so identified by its original names 'bak kut teh', the food sellers kept the name but substituted beef or turkey for the pork, and with a change in the meat was created 'hallal bak kut teh'. And thus began a brisk commerce until the mullahs put two cents in. They drew the line. They objected more to the use of 'halal' than to 'bak kut teh'. The whole commotion simply underscores the break on Malaysia's society as a whole. It points to the preponderant role Islam plays in a supposedly secular, multinational democracy; it is a break on 'entrepreneurship', especially when it comes to the Chinese. [Yet, the unspoken secret is that the Chinese are the brain and brawn behind Malaysia's economic prowess and development.] It re enforces hoary prejudices, accelerating a brain drain, it can ill affor d. It wallows in its own ignorance and call it 'a return to the source of all wisdom', and finds solace in its own ignorance.
Saying this, it doesn't escape GuamDiary's notice that oddly enough, in Malaysia's posh hotels, 'halal' champagne can be got for asking. Which once again highlights in glaring light, the hypocriscy of it all. And sends out loud and clear, what the Malay elite say is the law, and the font of all wisdom. Malaysia's mullahs and elites may take cold comfort in that, but even to its lowliest peasant, the pretense of moral superiority is a laughable matter!