In a news statement, I read that a mufti in a northern state had insinuated about the DAP rocket symbol to be a weapon of destruction to kill and destroy others.
For me, the mufti has stepped out of the bound of his office of religion and has transferred himself into the realm of hate-mongering to non-Muslims.
This mufti has a large Malay-Muslim following, and I have no doubt that such statement as his will be the cause of the divisiveness of our nation.
This mufti, I have seen, has made many racially and religiously sensitive statements that will have a severe detriment to the cause of nation-building and the reconstructing of harmony in our country.
As a backdrop to this incident, the mufti was said to be commenting on a DAP member in criticizing about the public school fiasco of teachers and children toting guns during the Palestine Solidarity Week or prior to that.
A PN MP had countered the comment by saying that guns need not necessarily connote violence but an enhancement of the political struggle of a people.
In this article, I wish to take both the mufti and the PN MP to task on the issue of functions and purpose of guns, rockets and lastly keris that is the insignia of Umno.
The invention of guns is none other than as a weapon whether to defend oneself or to attack and cause death or harm to others.
I want to ask the mufti with a PhD and the MP from PN if they can find other uses for guns.
Can guns, like an M16, shovel the ground? Can the M16 build a colony on Mars? Similarly, can a keris from the insignia of Umno cut onions or can it build an architectural masterpiece?
The keris and the guns are weapons, no doubt about that. The two cannot be mistaken to be anything else but weapons that can kill for whatever intentions.
Now, what of the rocket? We know the rocket from space exploration as well as missiles that can explode and cause untold destruction.
What then is a rocket? A rocket, by simple definition, to those who have limited science experience and knowledge, is a way to make a projectile fly through the force of its fuel as opposed to an aeroplane that relies also on the lift of air pressure on its wings to make it fly.
The rocket was invented, many think, by the Chinese who used it for fireworks and as a weapon long before anyone else used it in war.
When space exploration became feasible with the launching of rockets to deliver satellites, unmanned probes to other planets and eventually sent men to the moon and walked on another heavenly body, the rocket had made that possible.
Does the good mufti and the MP from PN understand that? Does the good mufti learn any of this in his early education?
With a PhD to his name, I am sure the mufti knows much of this knowledge. But why did the mufti insinuate immediately about the destructive use of the rocket and cause unnecessary tension in race and religious relations by suggesting a question about “destroying some other people”?
I think that this mufti is acting incredibly irresponsibly and out of the jurisdiction as a religious cleric, a citizen, and worse, as a human being in Islam.
A good Muslim would never have said such a thing.
As for the MP, well, this kind of people are politicians and their aim is always to be popular with voters and they will say anything that will help them garner those numbers.
I can excuse any dim-witted MPs but not learned muftis with a “Dr.” in front of their names.
So, what does the rocket mean in the DAP insignia or emblem?
Before I read the book “Lim Kit Siang” by Kee Thuan Chye Vol. 1, I already guessed why the rocket was used. As the DAP was formed during the heyday of Sputnik and the Apollo rocket, the symbol was meant to show progress through knowledge.
How can anyone think that Malaysians in the DAP want to send a missile at their neighbors who are Indians, Malays, Kadazans, Oran Asli and many others?
Only a hateful mind with an even hateful heart would suggest or even contemplate such a notion.
Even when I saw the two keris in Umno’s emblem, I never once associated them with plunging the two weapons into the heart of another race.
The keris is the symbol of Malay dignity, sovereignty and masculinity, not as a murderous weapon.
Even though some Umno members had waved the keris to threaten others, a keris expert told me that the keris should never be unsheathed unless it finds a victim, thus to unsheathe a keris as a political act is grossly misunderstanding the Malay culture.
I wait for the day that such muftis are no longer in the service of Malaysia simply because this kind of muftis is a total disservice, not only to our nation but to Islam itself.
(Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor of Architecture at a local university and his writing reflects his own personal opinion entirely.)