Saturday, September 27, 2014


By Mansor Puteh

How many Muslim women had died in the same manner as Diana, Princess of Wales and Reeva Steenkamp did? And how many Muslim men had died in the same way as Dodi Al-Fayed did?

I decided to fly to Jakarta in Indonesia on 30 August, 1997 just to avoid the crowd and Merdeka Day celebrations that would be held the next day in Kuala Lumpur and throughout the country, for once, and to make a return trip back to the city by flying from Kuala Lumpur, in twenty-three years.

I had earlier returned to Indonesia but by flying from Kuala Lumpur direct to Denpasar, Bali, and back, without going to Jakarta from there.

So this time I decided to fly into Jakarta just like I did in May, 1974 when I first went to this city and also to Indonesia, traveling from here to Bali and back to Jakarta in four weeks.

It was two months before I was to enroll at the school of mass communications, Institut Teknologi Mara in Shahalam to major in advertising.

I arrived in Jakarta later in the evening. The cab-driver stopped me at a small hotel and I offered to buy him dinner. He tried to take advantage of by getting a pack of clover or keretek cigarettes, but I told him, these, he had to pay for himself.

For a non-smoker and anti-smoking campaigner, seeing someone smoking is bad enough, and to be asked to pay for a packet of cigarettes by such a character is utterly disgusting. Fortunately, he did not smoke in my presence.

And after a night’s rest, the next morning after breakfast at the hotel, on 31 August, I went about to see the city, visiting the places I was familiar with when I got there for the first time in May, 1974.

I went to the Malaysian Students’ Center in Jalan Budikemuliaan and off busy Jalan T. H. Thamsin, which is just a stone’s throw away from Monumen Nasional or Monas and Istana Merdeka which is the official residence of the president of the country.

I could not believe that I had been back here, after so long, and after I had had my degree from ITM and also worked a while as a reporter for Utusan Melayu and went on to study at a university in New York City.

But unfortunately, the Malaysian Students’ Center building is closed. Here was the place in 1974 where I had gone to from the old Halim Perdanakasuma Airport, which replaced the older Kebayoran Airport, to go to the center to stay for a few days.

I stood outside of the compound of the center to see the place, the entrance of the building which also had a hostel for Malaysian students to stay when they were in the city.

Everybody thought I was a Malaysian student studying somewhere in Indonesia and who was visiting Jakarta.

I was not. I looked like a student. And when I told them I was traveling from there to Bali and back, they were surprised.

They said they had not met any Malaysian who had done something like that.

And in Bali, I opted to stay in Ubud and mixed with the locals who were all trying their luck to be artists. And they also said I was the first Malaysian they had met who had joined them.

I got one of the painters to do a portrait for me for which he charged 1,500 Rupiah, which I still have till today. And the painter called Sihong, is Chinese man from Solo who had just come to Bali to establish himself as a painter.

The last time I met him in 2004, he had become very successful, and married to a Jawa-Muslim woman with him also a Muslim.   

I took a walk inside a new Jakarta mall to see the new face of Jakarta and the city. I stopped to sit on a bench across the lane from an electronic store where there were many television sets switched on and all of them were showing Diana on it.

There was no sound as the sets were all inside a class wall of the store.

I went forward to check what the story on her was about and could see the crawlers that said she had met with an accident in a tunnel in Paris and was clinging on to her dear life, with Dodi and the driver dead.

And on the trip I made from Jakarta to Bali by land, I had to cross the straits between it and Jawa Island where I saw some Indonesian passengers reading a local magazine with the cover story on how she might have been targeted by people who did not want her relationship with Dodi prolonged to allow them to finally get married with Diana reverting to Islam.

The theory sounded plausible, as it would be horrendous if she married an Arab-Muslim and also became on so that the British royal family would then have somebody of such person in it, and worse, when her son, Prince William finally ascends to the throne where she will be Queen Mother, no less.

But the main concern of this article is how she and also Reeva as well as Dodi had become victims of their lifestyle choice.

If Dodi had observed an Islamic way of life, then surely, he and also Diana would have been saved, and the whole world would know if they had intended to get married.

Reeva had also died pretty much because of the lifestyle choice she and Oscar Pistorius had made which had caused her death and his subsequent murder charge.

Muslim men and women do not die in the same way as did Diana, Reeva and also Dodi. They died the way they did because of the lifestyle they had chosen to lead, which had led them to their early graves.

Muslims and mostly Arab men and women as well as children mostly die due to Zionist attack and American support for them, not in high-speed car chase with the local media or for wanting to celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

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