“AVOID RACISM AND RELIGOUS BIGOTRY: WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT NEW MALAYSIA?”

By Zaliha Binti Idris

MALAYSIA is a multi-ethnic nation, with a predominately Muslim populace. Allegations of bigotry come from racial inclinations epitomized inside the social and money related strategy of the Malaysian government, as appropriately as more extensive pressures between quantities of ethnic gatherings. The possibility of Malay matchless quality is normal in the political circle by numerous Malays. Separation is broad, freely showed and acknowledged,going from suggested ethnic matchless quality to strict bigotry (Hong-Hai Lim,2007).

Image result for racism versus islamophobia in malaysia
Image Credit: Berita Harian, 4 November 2018. Retrived on 13 November 2019, from https://www.bharian.com.my/berita/kes/2018/11/494558/himpunan-bantah-icerd-berlangsung-aman.

Around 179 countries have confirmed the Global Show on the Disposal of All Types of Racial Separation (ICERD), be that as it may, Malaysia isn’t one of them (Norshahril Saat, 2018). The specialists of the day had demonstrated an availability to confirm ICERD, anyway presently can’t seem to do as such because of the convention’s contention with the Malaysian constitution and the race and strict standards in Malaysia that had set up since its autonomy in 1957.

Islam in Malaysia is spoken to by utilising the Shafi’ie model of Sunni philosophy and the act of any extraordinary type of the religion like Shia is vigorously limited by the administration. The constitution makes Malaysia a mainstream nation and guarantees opportunity of religion, while sorting out Islam as the religion of the Alliance to symbolise its criticalness to Malaysian culture. Malaysian Chinese practice Mahayana Buddhism and run of the mill Taoism. Hindu is rehearsed by methods for most of Malaysian Indians. Christianity has built up itself in certain networks, essentially in Sabah and Sarawak. It isn’t attached to a specific ethnic gathering.

Image Credit: Bernama, 12 Disember 2018. Retrieved on 13 November 2019, from https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/bahasa/2018/12/12/perhimpunan-jalanan-demonstrasi-hanya-kes-terpencil-rakyat-malaysia-kekal-bersatu/

Relations between exceptional strict gatherings are usually really tolerant, despite the fact that individuals from the diverse ethnic associations do tend to have more noteworthy homogeneous private relations, fundamentally dependent on ethnicity and religion. Different bunches have been set up to endeavor to advance strict handle among the uncommon gatherings, with strict amicability saw as a need through Malaysian government officials.

For instance, both UMNO and PAS have resolved to be additional elite, and have confirmed that deliberately they had been never again support to sit around idly on non-Malay and non-Muslim votes. Be that as it may, it is very danger in political games and it re-underscore how edgy each UMNO and PAS have end up being in its attempt to hold onto the government specialists (Pakatan Harapan), by means of playing the passionate race and religion cards. Both these gatherings – one a race-based festival and the diverse an Islamic festival – are in risk of bringing us down the elusive way. Another Malaysia has come to fruition. A Malaysian likes to proceed and it is better that UMNO and PAS offer themselves as a decision that is inestimable and believable.

The Malays people have been defrauded because of their own conviction which has made them be marked as racists even as they endeavour to advocate their privileges. Different races which undertaking the Malays and which chat on the privileges of their races are never again alluded to as racists on the establishment of human rights. Are Malays or Muslims to be destroyed from seeing the world and suffocated in the trademark of the ‘Malaysia Baru’ race? Malays acknowledge this predetermination due to their Islamic confidence. In the event that Malays didn’t typify Islam, much the same as different races, they would now not be marked racists. PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had expressed Muslims have been the “greatest foes” of the colonizers right up ’til today while referring to the records of Malaysia’s colonization.

The compassionate nature and proclaiming of all humankind brought by methods for Islam enabled the Malays to easily acknowledge the appearance of the Chinese, Indians and others with the guide of the colonizers who acquainted their motivation with make issues in the multi-strict and multi-racial network, to amplify their hold on financial interests. These had put Malays and other Bumiputera people group in country regions to rely upon farming and away from the monetary focuses of the towns. They have been not able snare up with different races post-autonomy despite stipulations in the Government Constitution to protect privileges of Malay and Bumiputera.

The recent controversial Malay Dignity Congress confirmed the upward push of the Malays comprising more than a few political leanings, NGO, lecturers and graduates. The congress had sought Malay rights that have been allegedly challenged and oppressed, besides any show of enmity in the direction of other races. Only Malays that are too dull and weak spiritually lose their identification in their own land. Instead of tearing the country apart, with fictional fears, citizens favour to see what it can offer to convey Malaysia to the high stage and get recognise from the global. It is very interesting how Malaysians get truly worked up when it comes to racial and religious issues in the country.

Even though, the Malays keep political power, they cannot without problems have an impact on financial changes in an ecosystem of political freedom and competitive economics that is unethical and undignified. The current scenario is being influenced with the aid of the party of an intense race to achieve political strength which seems via democracy that is influenced by excessive racist behaviour and very ungrateful to the deeds of the Malay-Muslims towards them. If Malay- Muslims had been surely racists, they would now not have allowed the Chinese, Indians and others citizenship’s, financial control, political rights to come to be parliamentarians, Menteri Besar or Chief Ministers has the freedom to exercise their religions. The recent controversial Malay Dignity Congress confirmed the upward push of the Malays comprising more than a few political leanings, NGO, lecturers and graduates.

The congress had sought Malay rights that have been allegedly challenged and oppressed, besides any show of enmity in the direction of other races. Only Malays that are too dull and weak spiritually lose their identification in their own land. Instead of tearing the country apart, with fictional fears, citizens favor to see what it can offer to convey Malaysia to the high stage and get recognise from the global. It is very interesting how Malaysians get truly worked up when it comes to racial and religious issues in the country.

References

Hong-Hai Lim (2007). “Ethnic Representation in the Malaysian Bureaucracy: The Development and Effects of Malay Domination”. International Journal of Public Administration.

Norshahril Saat (16 December 2018). “Commentary: Malaysia’s anti-ICERD rally a reality check for Pakatan Harapan”. Channel NewsAsia.

“Racism has poisoned Malaysian politics for far too long”. The National. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2019.

Virginia Matheson Hooker, Norani Othman (2003). Malaysia: Islam, society and politics. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Westerlund, David (1996). Questioning the secular state: the worldwide resurgence of religion in politics

LISTENING TO THE HOLY QURAN CAN REDUCE ANXIETY DISORDER

By Sakinah Ismail

Anxiety disorder is among most common mental health condition which effect one’s life. The major classes of anxiety disorders are panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, genera anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anxiety also can be defined as a feeling of tension, nervousness, apprehension, worry and phobia over things that are unnecessary. It is important to manage anxiety disorder as it can be associated with negative effect and lower down the quality of someone’s life. According to The Global Burden of Disease study that was conducted in 2010 (GBD, 2010) there are 28.6 million of disability that contributed to anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder may be caused by stress from personal relationships, financial problem, working situations, peer pressure. Apart from that, there are also other factors such as genetics as well as medical factors that can contribute to anxiety. However, it can only be diagnosed by medical check-ups.

Recently, there are a lot of pharmaceutical methods being practised such as aromatherapy, massage therapy, relaxation techniques and music therapy to reduce anxiety. The music therapy is the oldest way of therapeutic approach being used in ancient Egypt, Greece, China, India and Rome. Studies indicate that religious music may also have a positive effect on mental health (Bradshaw, 2015). The Holy Quran recitation is a form of mystical music that can release endorphin by stimulating alpha brain waves (Almerud, 2003).

The Holy Quran is very important as guidance of Muslims as it is always associated with religiosity and spirituality. The language is basically in Arabic. The Holy Quran recitation can be classified as natural music with calmness sounds which can reduce the stimulation of the brain and comfort a person’s state of mind.  It means that, the Holy Quran recitation is useful in various places such as hospitals where it can help to give relaxion sensation to anxiety patient or any stressful working environment. With the softest and lightest music in nature being recited by expertise, it can sooth someone’s mind, and ease tense to improve brain’s health.

The soothing effects of the Quran can increase levels of dopamine when it is being played to an anxiety patient. The sporadic nature of a person’s mood can be greatly influenced by taking other external stimuli into consideration. The Holy Quran can be used as an optional method to give a relaxation sensation to anxiety patients. Therefore, it has the highest effect to healthcare intervention and not only people who suffer with anxiety can listen to the recitation of the Holy Quran, it also can be used during any tense situation. However, there is a lack of research and evidence that indicates listening to the Holy Quran is useful to treat anxiety patients.

References

Bandelow B, Michaelis S. Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015;17:327–35.

Carroll DL, Malecki-Ketchell A, Astin F. Non-pharmacological interventions to reduce psychological distress in patients undergoing diagnostic cardiac catheterization: A rapid review. Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2017;16:92–10

Bradshaw M, Ellison CG, Fang Q, Mueller C. Listening to religious music and mental health in later life. Gerontologist. 2014;55:961–71

Almerud S, Petersson K. Music therapy–a complementary treatment for mechanically ventilated intensive care patients. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2003;19:21–30

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: CAN THE GOALS BE ACHIEVED?

By Noralea Adzhar

The Sustainable Development Goals are the efforts and actions that need to be done in order to achieve a better and more sustainable future all everyone. They emphasize on global challenges humans are facing related to poverty, climate change, the environment, and peace. (The United Nations, n.d.)

Key transformations are required in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations based on the major drivers of societal change, such as human capacity, consumption and production, decarbonisation, and the digital revolution.  (European Commission, 2018)

Firstly, sustainable development is a societal rather than an environmental challenge. Substantial advances in human capacity are needed through improvements of education and healthcare resulting in higher income and better environmental-related decisions.

Secondly, by adopting a circular economy approach and reduce demands, much more could be done with fewer resources through responsible consumptions. Besides that, clean and affordable energy could be provided through renewables and electrification. (Cann , 2015)

Moreover, in order for the society to achieve access to nutritional food and clean water while protecting the biosphere and the oceans, more efficient and sustainable food systems are required. One way to do so, is by increasing agricultural productivity and reducing meat consumption.

Furthermore, the transformation of settlement patterns into smart cities such as decent housing, smart infrastructure and high connectivity will benefit the world population and the environment

In terms of digital revolution; science, technology, and innovation are needed to support sustainable development. It highly depends on the way the world will put the Information Technology revolution to use; either by continuing present trends or inverting them by asserting societal control.

In conclusion, the society needs to cooperate and a collective effort is required in order to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations could be achieved to secure a better living for all. Without a mutual understanding among the society, the world we live in today might be at risk in the foreseeable future.

References

Cann , O. (2015, September 23). How can the development goals be achieved? . Retrieved from World Economic Forum: Sustainable Development: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/09/how-achievable-are-the-sustainable-development-goals/

European Commission. (2018, July 16). Six steps to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals . Retrieved from The European Commission’s science and knowledge service: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/science-update/six-steps-achieving-sustainable-development-goals

The United Nations. (n.d.). About the Sustainable Development Goals . Retrieved from Sustainable Development Goals : https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

A LANGUAGE THAT IS UNDERSTOOD BY ALL OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION

By Nor Nabilah Abdullatif

Most of us have experienced going into a place that nobody speaks our native language but there are languages that we can used to make other people understand us. Chinese, Spanish, and English are among the most spoken language in the world. However, what would happen if we are stranded in a place where the people couldn’t speak or understand any of the languages that we speak? How do we communicate or ask for help? The answer is nonverbal communication. According to Nordquist (2019), nonverbal communication refers to a communication process without using spoken or written words. This type of communication is also called manual language. Nonverbal communication can be considered as universal language because it is innate and people in different cultures and countries have a common understanding of these cues.

As humans, we express our emotions through facial expressions. Frith (2009) claimed, the emotion of facial expressions are not simply reflective but also consist of communicative components.The message of fear can be conveyed via the facial expression of widen eyes, eyebrows are raised and pulled together, and lips slightly stretched horizontally. This type of cues can help other people to understand our emotions and helps us to deliver our message. No matter what kind of culture or language that we speak, we will always be able to read facial expressions.

“There was speech in their dumbness, language in their very gesture”. The quoted line was taken from one of William Shakespeare’s writings. Some of us tend to move our hands and arms while we speak. This gesture reveal important insights into the speakers’s thoughts (Holler & Beattie, 2007). A simple gesture like “thumbs up” could easily be understood as a sign of good or everything is under control. These gestures are important in giving clues to the message that we try to deliver.

We have used symbols in our daily lives. These symbols help us to understand or interpret something better. Arrows are one of the symbols that are commonly used. According to George (2005), the meaning of symbols are more easily perceived and comprehended. Thus, it can be disseminated quicker. Most of the people around the world have the same interpretation of a symbol. As an example, red colour symbolizes “stop or danger.”

Knowing the functions and interpretation of nonverbal communication is important because we are communicating with people from various cultures everyday in our lives. Being a bilingual or multilingual speaker is absolutely beneficial but if none of the spoken language works, we can use nonverbal communication. Although we do not speak the same language around the world, we still share the same ground in nonverbal communication. A language that is understood by all of the world’s population.

References

Frith, C. (2009). Role of Facial Expressions in Social Interactions.

George, A. (2005). Communication through Symbols: Study and Analysis. Calicut: University of Calicut.

Holler, J., & Beattie, G. (2007). Gesture Use in Social Interaction: How Speakers’ Gestures Can Reflect Listeners’ Thinking.

Nordquist, R. (2019, July 26). What is Nonverbal Communication. Retrieved from ThoughtCo.: http://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-nonverbal-communication.

MALAYSIA AND PEACE

By Noorhabibah Bahrum

As a multiracial country, Malaysia is always emphasizing on the importance of peace, not just locally but also internationally. The peaceful message is not just regarding races in the country but also between other countries which have conflicts among each other.

For example, at the national level, the Prime Minister of Malaysia; Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad stressed that the government will ensure that no one can disturb the national harmony and peace (Bernama, 2018). At the international level, during 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he urged that Pakistan and India must find a peaceful solution regarding Jammu and Kashmir conflict (Yunus, Harun, & Yusof, 2019).

With peace, it will bring the harmony and tolerance not just to the nation but also to the world. Galtung (1996) did mention that negative situations can be described as civil wars, separatist conflicts, and conflicts of interest whereas positive conditions involve situations and atmospheres of peace and tranquility where all members of the community can live in harmony.

At the international level such as in the meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), United Nation (UN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and more Malaysia loudly criticizes the violence made by Islamic State (IS), the government of Myanmar towards Rohingyas, Israel towards Palestinians, terrorist attacks targeting congregations in two Christchurch mosques, bombing attacks around the world such as in Jakarta, and many others.

The UNGA, on 2nd April 2019, has adopted without a vote, a resolution entitled “Combating Terrorism and Other Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief”. Malaysia, alongside Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey sponsored the resolution while another 36 Member States co-sponsored the resolution (Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, 2019). This shows that Malaysia seriously wants to spread the message of peace to the world.

In order to spread  peace to the world, Malaysia is not just voicing out but also taking actions through Malaysia’s role as intermediaries of peace negotiations between the government of Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as well as between government of Thailand and it’s Southern Regions.

Other than that, Malaysia also gives protection to refugees from Myanmar, Bangladesh, Syria and more. Malaysia is also participating in peace missions by sending our army to the turbulent countries such as Syria and Lebanon. The Minister of Defense, Mohamad Sabu said, the involvement of the army internationally demonstrates that Malaysia is committed to fulfilling the humanitarian aid the country needs to ensure that the aspirations for universal peace can be realized (Bernama, 2019).

Not only the government, but other private bodies and NGOs are also contributing to spread peace around the world such as Mercy Malaysia, Global Peace Foundation, and Angkatan Belia Islam (ABIM) by providing food, health treatment, teaching aids to countries in need. This is indirectly boosting Malaysia’s image at the international arena.

References

Bernama. (2018, November 29). Dr M issues warning over mockery of national harmony, peace. Kuala Lumpur: Bernama.

Bernama. (2019, October 1). Pasukan pertama MALBATT 850-7 berlepas ke Lubnan. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Galtung, J. (1996). Peace by Peaceful Means: Pace and Conflict, Development and Civilization. Journal of Peace Research, 42.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia. (2019, April 4). Adoption of Malaysia-Sponsored United Nations General Assembly Resolution Entitled “Combating Terrorism and Other Acts of Violence Based On Religion or Belief”. Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Yunus, A., Harun, H. N., & Yusof, A. T. (2019, October 22). Malaysia to continue to speak out on Jammu, Kashmir. Kuala Lumpur: New Straits Times.

MODERN PROPAGANDA – IT’S IMPACT TOWARDS THE NATION AND PEOPLE

By Muhamad Shazwan Abdul Hamid

Propaganda; which has been used for ages started way back during the World War 1 and continuously being used until today. Propaganda is a type of communication in which its goal is to manipulate and influence the opinion of people to support some movement, organisation, government, cause or belief and it is likely be used in artwork, films, speeches and music (White, n.d.)

Dr Zollman said that “What we refer to as modern day propaganda was actually invented at the start of the 20th century and actually, it relates more to business practices, to advertising, public relations and so on”. He added said that we need to look back throughout the history, the terminology of propaganda and how it has changed (Modern Day Propaganda, n.d.)

In today’s modern propaganda, all of it has been changed to a digital visuals such as digital posters like memes, video games and it has been spreading widely in social media, websites, and chat rooms internationally without being controlled by anyone (Hasic, 2019).

Take for example the propaganda done by the United States (U.S) in a game called “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” where they portrayed Russia as the evil villain whom kills the people there, which is now called as Highway of Death between Kuwait and Iraq. “The Russians bombed it during the invasion, killing the people trying to escape. He’s the man responsible for creating the Highway of Death, and for using forced labor torture, summary executions and chemical weapons to punish people in the region”, (Hall, 2019). The truth is that the one who did all the invasion was none other than the Great Father which is the U.S.  The game also portrayed a scene where a player who plays a role as a CIA officer shoots the enemies as well as Russian soldiers.

The game tried to portray Russia as a bad country internationally whereby all that they are good in doing is destroying and killing. The propaganda done can shift people’s view on Russia which is not good for their economy. Besides that, the games will subconsciously make other players from other countries to see Russia as a really bad country as most of the players are students. The games have been played by millions of people worldwide and it has sparked negative comments towards the Infinity Ward (the developer). Most of the Russian consumers who played the game commented that the game portrays their soldiers as a little more than faceless henchmen (Hall, 2019). Days after the release of Call of Duty : Modern Warfare, Russian consumers expressed their anger towards the game and created user reviews on Metacritic which led to a 2.5/10 score for the game.

In the modern day, people tend to look for information by using the internet medium which is the social media mainly through Twitter, Facebook and other news website such as BBC, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post and others. The problem with today’s information centre is that they are spreading the propaganda drastically and they called it as freedom of speech or freedom of expression. Instead of approving the Article 13, the government might as well create a law restricting a certain limit for the propaganda to be shared because sometimes the propaganda that is being shared contains more negative impact instead of positive impact towards a nation and also the people.

References

Hall, C. (2019, October 30). Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Highway of Death controversy, explained. Retrieved from Polygon: https://www.polygon.com/2019/10/30/20938550/call-of-duty-modern-warfare-highway-of-death-controversy

Hasic, A. (2019, March 12). Why propaganda is more dangerous in the digital age. Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/03/12/why-propaganda-is-more-dangerous-digital-age/

Modern Day Propaganda. (n.d.). Retrieved from Renegade: https://renegadeinc.com/modern-day-propaganda/

White, D. (n.d.). What is Propaganda? – Definition, Techniques, Types & Examples. Retrieved from Study.com: https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-propaganda-definition-techniques-types-examples.html

UNDERGROUND METAL SCENE IN MALAYSIA: TOWARDS THE NEW WORLD ORDER

By Adam Ariffin

The metal music in Malaysia has been one of the genres that create a phenomenon in terms of the mistakenly accused ideology and the way the music itself is being delivered. In order to be specific to the situation, the group of under metal scene in Malaysia is being focused on. The focus group is the underground metal scene.  As the element of the underground metal scene itself is divided into sub-genre such as death metal, black metal, thrash metal, doom metal and many others, the acceptance of the underground metal music in Malaysia is still not well received.

Black metal in Malaysia has been labelled as ‘anti-Islamic’ after it has been a sensational of the issues amongst public. The escalation of the panic situation began after the media in Malaysia reported stories regarding religious desecration by the black metal follower (Liew & Fu, 2006). The situation was getting worse when authorities failed to determine categories of the metal music. During the crisis, all kind of music that involved growl vocal, loud music and skull logo was accused as black metal. As the media continues to promote hatred to the underground metal music scene, the government took an action in 2001 to band black metal music. The Northern state of Kedah has been labelled as a centre of black metal and a number of people were detained. Their urine were tested and they were questioned regarding their faith (Hoffstaedter, 2009). Under the shadow of the black metal issues, local Malaysian bands such as Silent Death, Sil Khannaz and Braindead were developed and tremendously accepted by the Malaysian metal followers. The momentum of the scene keep gaining support from the local underground music lover such as Napalm Death, an international metal band that performed in Malaysia in 2001 (Ferrarese, 2015).

Moving towards globalization, people of Malaysia may seem to be very sensitive in issues pertaining religious and culture. The acceptance of the underground metal scene must be looked upon different angles of thinking as the Eastern metal scene has its own forte and approach. In other countries, metal scene situation is usually understood. The Western culture also provides space to the metal bands in expressing their frustration through music. Metal music also can be translated into a reflection of societal changes brought by globalization (Timbang & Ibrahim, 2017). The year 2020 is around the corner and sceptical view of underground metal scene in Malaysia should be changed as we are moving towards a developed nation and the new world order.

References

Ferrarese, M. (2015). Eastern desekratorz and nuclear metal lust:1 Performing ‘authentic’ black metal in Malaysian Borneo. Metal Music Studies, 1(2), 211–231. https://doi.org/10.1386/mms.1.2.211_1

Hoffstaedter, G. (2009). Contested spaces: Globalization, the arts and the state in Malaysia. Ethnicities, 9(4), 527–545.

Liew, K. K., & Fu, K. (2006). Conjuring the tropical spectres: Heavy metal, cultural politics in Singapore and Malaysia. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 7(1), 99–112. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649370500463182

Timbang, A., & Ibrahim, Z. (2017). Malay Metalheads: Situating Metal Music Culture in Brunei. Situations, 10, 7–26.

WHITE RABBIT CANDY HALAL STATUS

By Faranaz Fatini Binti Zaharan

Instinctual behaviour which exists in all business organizations has created a grapevine communication effect which is known to be the agent of spreading unwanted rumours in the form of a mix of truth and untruth information. According to Fine and Ellis (2013), rumours are defined as the expression of belief towards a certain event that is about to happen and has happened. It does somewhat evoke impactful means towards business organization in either a positive or negative way.

The issue regarding the White Rabbit candy halal speculation that went viral in the early 2019 had caught the attention of the public in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei after the Americans introduced a White Rabbit candy flavoured ice-cream (May, 2019). In the Malaysian perspective, the issue was being discussed in respect to the halal status of this candy flavoured ice-cream as its candy product (i.e. White Rabbit candy) was also known to be one of Malaysian favourite childhood candies (Jayne, 2019). 

The issue of the said discussion stemmed from the Malaysian public’s concern and doubt of the validity of the halal certification of the White Rabbit candy product. The government of Malaysia has also launched an investigation on this issue of concern after the Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) has confirmed that the White Rabbit candy contains unwanted substance that are known to be haram (Astro Gempak, 2019). Originally, this candy was from Shanghai, China is known to be an iconic or essential sweet brand in China and also some other overseas countries, nearly eight decades since the year 1940s (Roxburgh, 2018). It was known to the general public consuming the sweets as the “Mickey Mouse sweets” as, apparently, on its wrappers an iconic Disney character was being displayed (Jayne, 2019).

The deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Fuiziah Salleh has released a statement in TV Al Hijrah announcing that the White Rabbit candy is certified as Haram (Nazari, 2019). The ministry has officially confirmed that the product contains both pork and cow protein through the investigation conducted by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) (Liew, 2019). The result of the investigation has brought sadness to not only the Muslim communities of Malaysia but also the Muslim communities of Brunei and Singapore as it has brought nostalgic memories of the candy itself. In an Instagram post posted by Rumah Gelato Frozen Treats (n.d.), the post has displayed grief in which it illustrated a White Rabbit wagon with parting goodbyes captions depicting the company has joined the bandwagon of the American White Rabbit flavoured ice cream of not selling its White Rabbit gelato ice cream product due to the negative viral issue concerning the American White Rabbit flavoured ice cream. Furthermore, similar post also made by Project Ice Cream (n.d.) through the medium of Instagram with a caption of immediate action to discontinue the White Rabbit ice cream production. This could provide the evidence on how food companies, especially the ice cream companies, had taken action in pulling the flavour of the White Rabbit in the market as a respect and acknowledgement to the sensitivities of the Muslims communities.

It could be seen that, the Muslim communities in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei had used the platform of social media to sustain a regular and consistent flow of communication to the general public regarding the controversial issue of the halal status. This also connotes that the public and the countries’ respective Islamic organizations or authorities have shown interest in taking serious actions regarding this issue. The issue has brought the people together in knowing the brand better whilst at the same time taking precaution by carrying out research on product ingredients or contents prior to consumption (i.e. on any other similar products being introduced to the market). It has also brought the awareness that not all candies are certified halal and a research of ingredient content is needed to be made.

Image source: (Astro Gempak, 2019)

References:

Astro Gempak. (2019, September 13). Sah! Tidak halal, gula-gula White Rabbit ada gelatin babi. Astro Awani. Retrieved from http://www.astroawani.com/gaya-hidup/sah-tidak-halal-gula-gula-white-rabbit-ada-gelatin-babi-217431

Fine, G. A., & Ellis, B. (2013). The global grapevine: Why rumors of terrorism, immigration, and trade matter. Oxford University Press.

Jayne, T. (2019, February 27). The iconic White Rabbit candy was once taken off the shelf. Here’s why. SAYS. Retrieved from https://says.com/my/lifestyle/the-iconic-white-rabbit-candy-was-once-taken-off-the-shelf-here-s-why

Liew, E. (2019, September 12). White Rabbit Candy Officially NOT Halal, Contains Pig & Cow DNA. World of Buzz. Retrieved from https://www.worldofbuzz.com/white-rabbit-candy-officially-not-halal-contains-pig-cow-dna/

May, A. (2019). After lab test, White Rabbit candy found to be non-halal.Retrieved from https://hype.my/2019/167808/after-lab-test-white-rabbit-candy-found-to-be-non-halal/

Nazari, T. (2019, September 12). White Rabbit candy IS NOT halal; contains pig and cow DNA. The Rakyat Post. Retrieved from https://www.therakyatpost.com/2019/09/12/white-rabbit-candy-is-not-halal-contains-pig-and-cow-dna/?fbclid=IwAR0Z4hS_qEHpRxLKTeRAkaznetA-q0aHpBlJPuZRcXdB_t6-5XMp1wmf8gY

Project Ice Cream [@projecticecream.bn]. (n.d.). Posts [Instagram profile]. Retrieved May 12, 2019, from https://instagram.com/projecticecream.bn?igshid+1cnyq2ja5yfqn

Roxburgh, H. (2018, April 30). How China’s iconic White Rabbit sweets went from a Shanghai favourite to being known the world over. The Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2018/05/01/how-chinas-iconic-white-rabbit-sweets-went-from-a-shanghai-favourite-to-being-known-the-world-over RumahGelato Frozen Treats [@rumahgelato]. (n.d.). Posts [Instagram profile]. Retrieved May 17, 2019, from http://instagram.com/rumahgelato?igshid+atqfrs243jvo