Friday, October 31, 2014

Ebola-themed Halloween

Halloween is here again, and that means, fancy dress. So it is not surprising that there may be "tasteless" – actually, it all depends how you look at it – costumes that are guaranteed to offend some people.
Ebola is in the news and as the war against the deadly disease is being fought – somebody realized that Ebola can be fashionable.
Think hazmat outfit complete with breathing mask, blue latex gloves and an Ebola face shield. But a sexy version of the Ebola containment suit see left pic.
“The short dress and chic gas mask will be the talk of Milan, London, Paris, and New York as the world's fashionistas seek global solutions to hazmat couture,” reads the Brands On Sale website.

But it isn’t just for women – there’s also a sexy male version, because “ending plague isn't the endeavor of a single woman.”
For sure, Ebola is a feverish topic. And in England, a Birmingham nightclub had apologized for "a huge error of judgement" in holding an Ebola-themed party. The building was even decorated with fake biohazard tape and warning signs.
The event was advertised as "Broad Street has been infected and is no longer safe!! All students must head to Bar Risa for Decontamination!!".
A spokesperson for the club said the theme night, held on Wednesday, was run by a third party and management was sorry for letting it happen.
"We will be donating all profits to Doctors without Borders and we wholeheartedly apologise to anyone we have offended," the spokesperson continued.
The event provoked both condemnation and praise on social media. Some comments had described it as "sickening" "outrageous" and "disgusting", while others claimed the theme was "only a bit of fun".
Personally, I don’t understand what the fuss is all about! There will always be people who will take offense by a leaf blowing past them in the wind – if they don’t like the look of the leaf! Chill lah!
On Wednesday, I was at the D’Utama Toastmasters meeting at the invitation of Johnson Yike. Given that the theme was “Truly Distinguished” – he, as the Toastmaster of the Evening had assembled a distinguished panel of six DTMs (Distinguished Toastmasters) – whose task was to evaluate six speakers, all of whom are D’Utama members. I was certainly in distinguished company.
Overall, a good evening and I am happy to give the meeting a score of an 8 over 10.


The Begging Culture

Second Education Minister Idris Jusoh (left) said on Tuesday that the Malays should possess far-sighted mindsets so that they would not become extinct at some point in the future.
"We have to stop the culture of begging, I don't want to see our race as a fast food nation that wants everything to be delivered fast, including money, aid and assistance,” he argued.
Is he telling the Malays that they are really so dependent on government giveaways that they cannot prosper, much less survive on their own? Is he mocking his own race? Or is he telling the truth that his race is doomed?
Isn’t he making a sweeping statement? Why is he tarring all Malays with the same brush? Why is this Malay putting down other Malays?
Perhaps his whole purpose in speaking out is simply to give a warning to the Malays before it is too late. He must have known that once you are on the road to ruination – that’s it! There is no turning back!
Think about it. If at all, there is indeed, a culture of begging – who started it, if not UMNO? The idea is to make Malays so accustomed to handouts, that today, they have become addicted to them! And lo and behold, the Malays are enslaved!
I don’t want to make a monkey out of Idris Jusoh – why should I take all the credit?
On Wednesday, I was in KL’s Jalan Bukit Bintang to attend the ITC Bintang Toastmasters meeting in Federal Hotel. I was one of 12 speakers for the scary story-telling segment. After all, this was a Halloween-themed meeting. My two hundred and one regular Toastmasters meeting for the calendar year 2014 so far and I delivered my 81st speech!
My SUBS student, Luqmaan Abdullah Brooks helped to prepare a blood pack (left) – fake blood, of course. I needed it because I was thirsty for blood – “Bloodthirsty” being the title of my story. It was a humorous speech, Victor Ong-style.
A lot of people were there! There were Toastmasters from Taman Indrahana, AIA Capsquare, Chiyoda, KL Advanced, PwC, Sunway University, Premier Advanced and AFC. For sure, I know everyone who came had lots of fun!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween is Not Welcomed in Malaysia

Valentine’s Day is haram. Yoga is haram. Oktoberfest is haram. Dogs are haram. And now Halloween is haram. The list of prohibitions just got longer.

The National Fatwa Council has declared that Halloween is “haram” and as such Muslims in the country are forbidden from participating in this celebration in any way on October 31.
According to its Facebook posting, the council stated that Halloween was a Christian event that honored the dead and that if Muslims wanted to do the same, Islam suggested reciting “doa” (prayers) instead.
The edict was issued in reaction to a complaint lodged last week by Muslim residents in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan against a private international school there that put up a banner inviting students (including Muslims), to attend a Halloween bash it was organizing. The invitation caused a great furore among some Muslim groups as well including ISMA who demanded the state religious council put a stop to the event.
For a start, these Muslims should learn to get their facts right. Halloween is not even remotely Christian – it is a pagan ritual. For your info, there are also Christians who are also dead against Halloween.
Anyway, these clerics think they are being righteous but they are just party poopers. Spoilsports. Killjoys. They have expeditiously decided that "trick or treat" is unIslamic.
On Tuesday, I attended the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting and I was one of only two speakers. My evaluator was Lim Thian Seng and I delivered CC speech #8 titled “Masks”. Another good speech, if I may say so. The meeting was a little on the quiet side but at least, I enjoyed the speeches (including mine!). I would score this meeting a 6.5 over 10.