The double standards of halal or haram

By romerz

In the course if my life, I’ve met people of many different religious faiths …. from the really pious to the loosely religious, and they exist in every single religion known to man. There are even varying degrees of atheists ….. from the “I think therefore I am” atheist to the “I don’t believe in God but I won’t say anything bad about Him – just in case” types. In essence when it comes to human spiritual beliefs, it cuts across the entire spectrum of humankind.

I’m bringing this up because of the recent “haram” money issue in Penang, which state opposition leader Azhar Ibrahim from UMNO/BN, is playing up which caused a lot of distress to some “more pious” Penangites of the Islamic faith. Let me stress that it is not my purpose to question here anyone’s sensitivities about what is “haram” or “halal’. As I said above, there are varying degrees of piousness and what may be perfectly legitimate for me may not be acceptable to others in their understanding what their faith requires of them.

Instead I would like to aim my attention at Azhar Ibrahim for knowingly being hypocritical and playing on the fears of others (whom UMNO claims they “bela”) for political mileage.

For as long as I can remember and that goes back to the sixties, Malaysia has had some form or other of gambling – horse racing, social welfare lottery, 4D, Sports Toto, etc., now whether this is right or wrong is another question altogether (which the scope of this posting will not cover for now).

Some of which were legacies from our colonial past and some of which were new introductions after independence. All of them were and are still heavily regulated and heavily taxed by the federal government of the day, which in Malaysia’s case had been the Alliance and BN government. In both instances, whether Alliance or BN, UMNO to which Azhar Ibrahim belongs is the real power behind the government. And they have been collecting huge amounts of “haram” money in the form of taxes for the treasury.

Over the course of many years, these “haram” money together with “halal” money (those which have not been lost through corruption) had been spent on subsidies and various social programs not to mention the bribes given each time elections comes around. I dare say that not a single Malaysian then and now have benefited in one way or another from “haram” money which the treasury collected.

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