…TO WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS AND DEVILS, IN TANAH MELAYU WHICH DID NOT HAVE ANY OF THEM AND IN THE PROCESS BEING CURSED AND BECOMING CRIMINALS.
By Mansor Puteh
Since Tanah Melayu did not have such evil spirits and devils, then surely, they were brought by the Chinese immigrants when they first came to this country and land more than one hundred years ago, for which they still have problems warding off despite the many decades they had tried to do so.
The Chinese become unconvicted criminals on their Chinese New Year, for nothing, by firing crackers, which are banned items in Malaysia.
They don’t seem to realize how they are being cursed by many on this occasion, by their incessant firing of crackers and fireworks.
They say, they have to do that, to ward off evil spirits in order that they may have a prosperous year ahead.
They said that and did it last year, yet, they did not seem to be prosperous, the last year that they simply had to fire more crackers and fireworks again this year. And the process is repeated in the next and following year and on and on.
The Chinese still not convinced that they had been blessed after firing crackers and fireworks the last year that they had to do it again, causing a ruckus and becoming unconvicted criminals.
Despite most fireworks and firecrackers are banned items and those who are caught in possession of them and for firing them, yet, so few Chinese and also non-Chinese are caught and punished.
This is despite the blatant display of criminal activities that the Chinese especially exhibit during the Chinese New Year.
Singapore does not brook such transgression of law. This is despite it being a Chinese republic, yet, it banned the firing of crackers and fireworks, so much so that the Chinese in the republic had to go to Johor Baru to fire some.
Yet, Singapore is more economically developed than in Malaysia despite it not allowing its Chinese citizens to fire crackers and fireworks.
So what does this mean?
That the future or luck of the Chinese does not depend on how much firecrackers and fireworks that they can fire during the Chinese Lunar New Year. It depends on what they can do to better themselves.
Those Chinese, especially did not realize how ‘swai’ or unlucky they can be if they fire crackers and fireworks, that create a loud din in the neighborhood, and for being cursed, on their Chinese New Year.
That this is certainly not the right way to start such an auspicious day, being cursed and for becoming unconvicted criminals.
And for the Melayu who also firecrackers and fireworks, they do not seem to realize that they are serving the cause of the Chinese infidels by helping them to ‘ward off evil spirits’, and in the process show to the rest how unIslamic they are for practicing something which is against Islam.
It is a pity only those Chinese who do not have luck or much of a glorious future who are dependent on the firing of crackers and fireworks, while the more wealthy ones who do not depend on such a practice.
There is no scientific logic behind such a practice which was introduced in Ancient China and taken to become a practice feverously until it assumed to have a religious significance that it had to be taken out of China by the Chinese.
Yet, despite all that, Singapore which is an unconfessed Chinese Republic does not encourage or even allow its Chinese citizens from practicing such a tradition.
The reason for them not to allow the firing of crackers and fireworks is simply for safety reasons.
One cannot imagine if the Chinese in Singapore are allowed to fire crackers and fireworks as they please, then surely, one can see many apartment blocks and other buildings razed to the ground in a country which is compact, where the high-rise apartment buildings stand close to each other.
And the practice also allows for the littering of pieces of red paper that the crackers and fireworks create.
In fact, Singapore does also not allow or designate a special place for the firing of crackers and fireworks by the Chinese in the Chinese Republic. Yet, the economy of the country has expanded and prospered, irregardless of whether they fire crackers or fireworks during the Chinese Lunar New Year or not.
The authorities have such a disdain for them that despite being a Chinese Republic, they still insisted that such an ancient practice should not be brought to the country, as much as they also disdain the chewing of gums.
In Malaysia, the authorities started to have similar attitudes towards the crackers and fireworks, but the laws that they had established in parliament banning the possession of most crackers and fireworks do not seem to be effective.
And the Chinese in Malaysia are still able to fire them during the Chinese New Year, and more so during Chap Goh Meh, which is the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year, by the Hokkiens.
It is still more ironic how the fate and future of the Chinese in Malaysia is not so dependent on them firing the crackers and fireworks, as their economy is fast shrinking with its shrinking population and economic clout, with the community being displaced in the cities and towns all over the country.