Buddhists want probe into Chinese ustaz’s ‘King Kong’ remarks
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Buddhist leaders have called on Putrajaya to investigate a popular Chinese Muslim preacher for allegedly ridiculing their religion and Chinese traditional beliefs in a video broadcast over YouTube.
The clip has gone viral on local political blogs and appeared to be in response to government criticism last week over a Malay Christian convert who insulted Islam in another YouTube video first posted six years ago but resurfaced recently.
Titled “Dialog bekas penganut Buddha”, the nine-minute long video shows a bespectacled man wearing a white skullcap said to be Ann Wan Seng, a Buddhist-turned -Muslim and currently a national council member of the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim), helmed by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Subang Jaya Buddhist Association chief Chim Siew Choon said he was upset when he saw the video on YouTube.
“The relevant authorities should stop this. It’s very unhealthy. These sorts of things can cause disharmony,” he said.
Chim said the Buddhist-turned-Muslim had the freedom to comment on his former religion, but deplored the manner in which the latter had ridiculed Buddhism and confused it with traditional Chinese beliefs.
“He’s very confused. Why bring in Tua Pek Kong and Pau Kong? It’s got nothing to do with Buddhism,” he observed.
Based on what was uttered in the video, Chim added, the man displayed very shallow knowledge of his former religion and traditional Chinese beliefs.
Sek Chin Yong, from the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM), echoed Chim’s call for the authorities to investigate the matter.
“We leave it to the authorities to take action and investigate if they want to. No need for us to get upset just because he’s talking nonsense. We don’t want to fall into that trap,” said Sek, who questioned the motive of the person who uploaded the clip onto the popular video-sharing portal.
“Ann as a Muslim should not insult other religions. As a Chinese, he should promote the common good values to make these two different groups to know each other better, not incite Muslims or Malays to belittle Chinese traditional beliefs and customs.
“By insulting or denigrating others to raise himself is not a proper role for preachers. It’s also not a teaching of any religion,” Sek pointed out.
The YBAM secretary-general, however, said he did not think it necessary to file a police report to launch a probe and cautioned other Buddhists not to give in to their emotions.
“Personally, I don’t feel insulted. Why should I get angry or upset with what he said in the video? He’s not right,” Sek stressed.
First uploaded three years ago on October 18, 2007, the man alleged to be Ann can be heard making disparaging remarks in Bahasa Malaysia about his former religion and traditional Chinese worship:
“Bukan sekadar orang Cina menyembah agama Buddha. Mereka juga sembah berbagai dewa dan juga dewi. Mereka sembah Tua Pek Kong, mereka sembah Pau Kong, mereka sembah Datuk Kong dan barangkali mereka juga sembah King Kong.
“Maka jadilah agama dia agama Kong kali Kong.
“Dan inilah keadaan yang sedia wujud itu di mana orang Cina sembah patung-patung ini kerana mereka yakin dan juga mereka percaya bahawa patung ini boleh mendatangkan kebaikan kepada mereka, boleh mendatangkan kesejahteraan kepada mereka, boleh memberikan keselamatan malahan boleh menjadikan mereka ini kaya-raya.
[Not only do the Chinese worship Buddhism. They also worship all kinds of gods and goddesses. They worship Tua Pek Kong, they worship Pau Kong, they worship Datuk Kong and probably they also worship King Kong.
Which makes his religion Kong times Kong.
And this is the current situation where the Chinese worship these statues because they are convinced and they believe these statues can bring them benefit, can bring them prosperity, can give them security and even make them wealthy.]
The Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) declined to comment on the issue when contacted.
“It’ll be more interesting to see what the Muslim groups have to say. How will they respond?” its president, Reverend Dr Thomas Philips, told The Malaysian Insider.
The non-Muslim council also said it will be meeting the Muslim groups today at the Cabinet’s recently revived Committee to Promote Understanding and Harmony Among Religious Adherents.
When asked, however, Philips said he did not plan to raise the video controversy at the meeting because “it’s been going on for some time now… and we can’t be dealing with every small matter like this that comes up”.
The video has garnered 15,330 views at the time of reporting and 87 comments on YouTube but likely spawned hundreds more after it was highlighted yesterday in controversial blogger, Raja Petra Kamarudin’s Malaysia-Today website.