Saturday, May 21, 2011

Clothes Don't Really Maketh The Man

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain

Apart from the movies I watched in the cinemas over the past few weeks, the only movie that I watched in many times over one seating at home in the last three weeks was The Day of The Jackal, which starred the Bond villain, Michael Lonsdale and of course the elder of the Fox brothers, Edward. (James has appeared more prominently in the last 15 years in movies (see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory / Sherlock Holmes) while Edward is more relegated to TV and stage productions). What caught my attention over the last few viewings was not about the plot or the story, but in particular the 15 minutes in the middle of the film. 

What happened was that after the first identity cover was blown, the Jackal then masquerades as a Danish school teacher, Pier Lundquist, with the identity stolen from the London airport - a secondary identity to be used in event things would go wrong while assuming the first identity of a dead person. 

One thing I can noticed from that is that even you assume that person's identity and clothing, you are not really him / her exactly. Hence at this point of time, I think that clothes don't really maketh the man, contrary to what Twain said. Note: If you can't find the video at a video shop, you might want to read the 40th anniversary reissue of the novel by Frederick Forsyth.

Pete has written some thoughts about observing people in Bali. Some of my relatives, including my brother who was there on a study trip, at the same time I was visiting Australia do affirm that similar statement. The last few paragraphs about pudding is in the eating reads:

After Bali we went over to Jakarta and suddenly it was another world altogether. Jakarta is predominantly Muslim but you did not feel safe in that city. You felt like you were constantly under siege.

“Why can’t the Muslims in Jakarta be like the Hindus of Bali?” I commented to my wife. I was so impressed with the Balinese Hindus and disgusted with the Jakarta Muslims. And it is the Muslims who cause all the commotion in Bali with the bombings and whatnot.
I would like to believe that Muslims have reduced Islam to a religion of rituals minus the commitment to the ideals of the religion. But then the Balinese are even more ritualistic than the Muslims. In fact, they appear to be constantly in prayer.
I am yet to put my finger on it. There is something about the Balinese version of Hinduism that makes them extremely honest and decent people. But what is it?
I think I am going to go back to Bali and spend some time studying the people there, in particular their religion. I need to find out what it is they are doing right and we are doing wrong.
The Balinese Hindus are a perfect example of good Muslims. That is what troubles me. The Balinese Hindus are what Muslims should be but are not. And I really need to find out why this is so even if it is the last thing I do.

Lately, Perkasa and even UMNO keep saying the same rhetorics and summary statement that the Malays must all be under one roof. What kind of roof? Whose roof is it? Political roof is it or is it that the roof of the same mindset and attitude that is based on the mould that is defined by the party that claims to represent Malays, the UMNO Baru? 

UMNO Baru is not 65 as it believes to be, but instead it is actually 23, as the original was declared illegal in 1988, just before Salleh Abbas' sacking. Do you notice the similarity to what I pointed here? 

The first identity that the Jackal assumed was the identity of a dead person, Paul Oliver Duggan (in the novel was Alexander James Duggan) , and carries a passport that was applied in the legal manner. This is very identical to how UMNO came back after the reregistration in 1988. This factually speaking, not in some bullshit manner, although there is a claim that they use the name because of the same traditions carried over.

I suppose the famous saying by Mark Twain is being used, unaware by many people. 

Both these entities keep playing the same tune from the lute, which is claiming that Utusan represents all the Malays, like what UMNO would always claim to be. But they have never understood that this is also equivalent to forcing their opinion onto every other person. In this case, when applied the idea above, even if you are a person of a Malay race, you do not have to say yes to what UMNO and Perkasa said. 

The clothing only illustrates your appearance to others. But the inner self of each person is unique. Who are you are and how you choose to be is your own discretion. You are your own person. You have the right to decide and think, that's what the brain is for. Political bodies or other entities, except God and your own self can decide on your fate. 

Perkasa and UMNO said "Over our dead bodies" on those who whack Utusan. I am wondering whether if they themselves are not aware of some inaccuracies that they have seen in news reports, or they refuse to spot the difference and merely accept blindly what is written. Does that also mean that they also take in face value of things that call for them to do things even if the contents written inside a news piece is factually wrong or inaccurate?

A man who truly believes in the religion doesn't do such thing just because you are this race and you are this religion that you are entitled to do such things that others are not entitled into. This is entirely wrong. The most important thing is that you have the reason to do it when you are asked to explain when facing God in the afterlife. 

And to point out to the unity issue that UMNO has constantly brought out to PAS, the idea can't work and last forever. History simply reveals it themselves - you can see the example of the many school of thoughts of the Islamic and Christianity religion. If in doubt, you can see how PKR people clash with those in Eskay's "Quran swearing ceremony" - as case in point.

You cannot really force your opinion onto others. It is the substance that is more important than the shell. Or as most people say, a book is judge not by the cover. Likewise, this also goes out to even the opposition party. What you do is more important than just screaming rhetorics. Even Anwar himself should know what he is really doing, even amidst the allegations and accusations that he makes wildly.

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