Sunday, August 30, 2015


By Mansor Puteh

It started with the videos showing some recognizable personalities doing the exercises that were sold in the supermarkets and bought by many who follow what they see in the videos, to help them trim their bodies and to allow them to lose some weight.

Then television took over with one program after the other being introduced so that the videos and later DVDs would not be necessary anymore.

I remember watching the exercise program by Jack La Lane which was in black-and-white then. He had the program for a very long time but he did not manage to make it to color television.

Then television started to introduce more of such programs and then the food as well as the fashion programs.

So now there are so many of them that are being shown everyday some of which get to the Malaysian viewers courtesy of satellite television.

But most likely they are not being watched by many Malaysians. I watch them to study what they are, but I only flick channels to see all of them sparingly including ‘The United States of Bacon’ a program that could never be shown on regular television in Malaysia.

But since no one watches this program it is able to go on.  

Many of them would become nothing but couch potatoes, those who would sit in front of their television sets or monitors, watching programs without ever doing what they see on them, especially the food or cooking programs, the exercise programs and fashion shows that are shown on television in many ways and styles or presentation.

The problem is that those programs show nothing but food that nobody really eats or cares to cook. They are mostly hotel food, gourmet.

And they will also never wear the clothes that are shown in the fashion programs which are paraded by the many super-thin models who often would wear clothes that are not suitable for the hot weather in Malaysia, or even in America and the other countries which have fine weather.

The problem is that the clothes or costumes are not practical for anyone to wear, including some that are designed for cats and dogs.

And what about the exercise regimes that are shown in the programs where they have a small group of women and men who do exercises that have caused them to look mascular especially the female exercise gurus who do not feature femininity at all, because they have been exercising in front of the cameras and more so behind them that they now look like people in the military.

And for the Muslims who like to watch the devotional programs that are shown on Malaysian television almost everyday, none or not many of them will do what the preachers ask them to do.

And some of the preachers will not be truthful with their crowd and even with themselves. They will not give advise to their viewers on how to eat and how not to eat since some of them are already overweight and this is a good sign that they had done something bad that they had done which has caused them to be overweight.

So they will not want to talk about how not to eat, so that they can become slim, much like the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh.

In the end, the viewers of the Islamic devotional programs will feature preachers who are not truthful and who will talk about the most mundane things just to get a good laugh from their crowd of elderly men and women who look like they are still new to Islam and who do not know what is right and what is wrong or the halal and haram in Islam.

And the preachers will end up being more like entertainers especially the ones who like to crack jokes and sometimes sing some passages in popular songs, but in broken keys for which they had not bother to seek permission from their creators or to pay royalties to them.

I personally find such programs to be very boring indeed as it has not helped those who listen to them everyday to uplift themselves from their dreary lives; with many who go on to become poor-quality Muslims that they are.   

And those who like to watch these sort of programs will end up becoming couch potatoes, who will wear simply and they will eat simply the fast-food that they can get from anywhere without them ever lifting a dumbbell of any size or to walk more than ten feet from their television sets to the couch everyday which is their daily exercise regime. 

And in Malaysia as in all the Arab and Muslim countries there are many religious programs where there are many professional and well-paid preachers with limited knowledge on Islam who like to give advise to their congregation comprising of Muslims.

But none of them seems to care take heed of what is said.

But they still like to come to the gathering that is held in the open fields or halls and television studios, without anyone of them getting much or anything at all from listening to the preachers who often like to talk about the most mundane things in Islam with some of them are happy to become ‘stand-up comedians’ to get laughs from the crowd. And they themselves are not leading proper Muslim lives to start with.

I once heard one of them, and elderly man in his fifties who spoke on a television talk show on the virtues of donating blood. But he has never done that deed before.

So these preachers like to say things that they themselves do not practice.

In the end, all the programs on television, on cooking, fashion, exercises and religious advise go to waste; they do not benefit anyone. But they can still get a wide audience because they are entertaining.   

Those who enjoy watching such programs will end up becoming couch potatoes that they had started to be, and will become worse as the days go by for them.

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