IN SECULAR STATES, HE CAN BE AS HE WISHES AND DOES AS HE PLEASES, BUT IN ANY MUSLIM COUNTRY HE KNOWS HE HAS TO STRAIGHTEN UP.
By Mansor Puteh
Therefore, is it a matter concerning the individuals or the state and system?
Elton John is proof that it is the system of the state that shapes the individual’s behaviors, including his sexuality.
In a secular – meaning a state which rejects the church – meaning the Catholic and Christian Churches, individuals can do as he pleases; but in a Muslim state, he know how to behave better.
British entertainer, Elton John seems to like to perform in Malaysia. He has done show after show in the country and getting positive responses to them from the local Malaysian crowd, who are mostly those who were not even born when he first entered the international charts.
He knows there are enough Malaysians who can fill the stadium where he performs in and mostly, knowing that they are rich enough to be able to part with a lot of money to enrich him, financially, in exchange for the personal self-salvation that they think they can get from his presence however weird it may sound to many others.
But what the audiences here can see of him is just a faint reflection of who he used be. So they are paying to see something that he is not anymore, the aging Elton, aged sixty-five years who is not as glamorous, flamboyant, colorful, provocative, daring and outrageous as he used to be when he was much younger.
And despite the protests from the Islamic groups, he still comes to Malaysia.
The groups had failed to stop the concerts from happening. But they had a valid reason to protest against his shows which is to exert themselves and also to force Elton to go straight while he is in the country, and not engage in any funny talk or politicking.
The shows were held in the Arena of Start in Genting Highlands, which is the only casino complex, meant to collect funds to enrich so few Chinese from the many who go there with wishful dreams of making it big.
Many of them go there with a lot of money in their pockets and bank accounts, but most return by driving down the high hill feeling dejected; they had lost much of their money with some who finally found their inglorious end, by committing suicide, having failed to pay what they owed to some others to allow them to gamble.
Malaysia is therefore the only Muslim country to have allowed the opening of a casino by the Chinese in the country, even if it seems that the casino sits in the clouds, high on a hill.
Here is Malaysia’s Las Vegas, and Elton John has come here few times to perform. And he seems to enjoy it here. Why?
He had earlier gone to perform in China, where he publicly voiced his support for the Chinese dissident lawyer Wei-Wei by dedicating his performance to him.
Yet, the local authorities did not say anything; they did not ban him from performing in China in the near future.
But in Malaysia, Elton John knows that he cannot do anything other than to perform as he was paid to do that and only that and nothing else.
Malaysians generally do not care for his kind of sexuality; they allowed him to perform in the country and he knows that he cannot flaunt his sexuality.
Maybe he also did not bring his partner with him on the trip. There is no report on him ever attending the shows he had performed.
Or, maybe if the shows were held not on the hills but somewhere in the city stadiums, surely, it would not be a pleasant show for him.
But the whole truth is that Elton John seems to straighten up each time he is in Malaysia.
And he is not uncomfortable being a regular ‘straight’ guy even for the few days he is in Malaysia. Because in Malaysia, which is taunted as a Muslim country, where masjid are everywhere and Muslim men and women cover up, there is surely not many places where he or any foreigner could go to without being confronted with the bare facts, that Malaysia and Malaysians generally like to trek on the straight line of propriety.
Elton will return to Malaysia time and again, not only to perform and to earn some hard cash, but mostly also to allow him some therapy for him to feel like a straight guy.
At sixty-five years, he must surely realize the crooked roads he had trekked to become what he is today, have somehow straightened a bit – if not a lot, judging from the way he behaves and also is allowed to misbehave himself and also from the way he dresses or undresses, which one can see to be quite plain these days by any standard.
Elton John has finally met his match.
The Beatles had to seek moral and spiritual salvation from an old Hindu sage called Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India.
But Elton John only had to come and perform in Malaysia and he can get it for free, by just being here in the country, even though he may lead a secluded life up on the hills in Genting Highlands.
He has never been known to have descended to ground level to mix with hoi-polloi or to go shopping.
In fact, his arrival was not announced, and the only thing that the Malaysian public and press know of him is when he is performing there.
Jennifer Lopez is slated to perform in Malaysia too in December, but she is fully aware that Malaysia is not like the other countries. She knows what she must do which is to perform and not to show cleavage.
If she dares to do that, it is off she goes from the stages in Malaysia forever. Malaysia and Malaysians generally can do without J.Lo.
I personally do not wish to watch any Elton John or J.Lo concert, as it is such a waste of time. It is not a way to find self-rejuvenation. There are other ways one can use to get that.
Most of the persons who are enthralled by America and British entertainers are mostly those who had not lived or studied in these countries. They have to exhibit their penchant for American and British music in order that they can be seen to be there and in the know of things.
Most or all of the other Malaysians who had lived and studied in America and England are not fascinated with Pop Americana or Pop Britannica and to go crazy over their entertainers and whatever gossips they are said to create.
Unfortunately, most of the entertainers who come to Malaysia to perform are mostly those who know they are sliding down the pop charts. And many did not return as they had completely disappeared from the entertainment scenes in their country.
So generally Malaysians only get to see a faint reflection of those performers and entertainers who are not what they were when they were riding high on the charts.