This article was previously published on The Malaysian Insider.
Dear Lord Bobo, the IGP has warned people to stop making fun of Jakim’s Valentine’s Day sermon, and has threatened “stern action” against those who continue to do so. Should we be afraid? (Shakin’ In My Boots, via email.)
Dear Shakin’ in My Boots,
Here we go again! There is now a firmly established annual ritual that, come Valentine’s Day, Jakim (or whichever Islamic State enforcement agency feels like showing how truly Islamic they are that particular year) will bleat their usual theme of how the mere indulging in Valentine’s Day celebrations will lead to the decay of values, chaos in the country, all the women waking up pregnant, and to all the Muslims spontaneously converting to Christianity – or something to that effect.
In truth, these annual admissions speak more about the strength of Jakim’s values than the power of Valentine’s Day to overawe us out of our long-standing beliefs about god, God, Tuhan, Allah, or the pet unicorn of our choice.
This year’s Jakim missive has, by the way, been removed from their website — obviously their religious convictions could not withstand a bit of mockery. Of course, in the internet era, screenshots had already been taken, and the text is easily available on other websites.
If any readers have not already read it, you should. It is quite a classic, and surpasses the standards set by earlier annual Valentine’s Day missives.
His Supreme Eminenceness has always suggested that the world would be a better place if all you humans had a bit more of a sense of humour. And anyone with even a modicum of humour would not be able to resist laughing at or making fun of this year’s message from Jakim.
There are too many funny bits to specify, and Lord Bobo is convinced that even a collaborative effort between Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin, and Lord Bobo could not surpass the comic effect of the English version of the text (for starters, Valentine’s Day is apparently “Belong Day”).
Some of the conclusions that Jakim came to in their message truly beggars belief. We wonder whether Jakim conducted empirical studies (or even half-assed studies) before coming to their conclusions, or whether a couple of fellas just cooked this up over cendol after Friday prayers the previous week. A brief whiff of that sermon will lead anyone to believe that it is more cendol then established scientific evidence or rational thinking.
Lord Bobo cannot fathom how anyone can resist making fun of Jakim. Sure, the laughable English is obviously the result of someone using Google Translate from Malay (via Maltese and Esperanto by the looks of it) – but even their basic understanding of Valentine’s Day is flawed.
Although Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one of the early Christian saints, its current association of the occasion with romantic love came from Geoffrey Chaucer when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
It evolved into its present form in 18th century England when lovers used the occasion to express their love for each other with gifts or cards, or both (and probably some post-gift activities in the form of more inventive gifts, but let’s not go there).
Of course, for some, Valentine’s Day may be an annual attempt to get their partner to carry out some technically difficult sexual positions they may have seen in some movie. But traditionally, far from being some sex festival or the practice of some animalistic belief, it is an occasion for human beings to remind each other to be respectful of each other, and to love one another. More importantly, it is now an occasion for most purveyors of chocolates and flowers to make an absolute killing.
Jakim’s basic outlook on Valentine’s Day is so misguided that it reaches deep into the heart of comedy, even though it seems more like they were reaching into the rear end of their sarongs.
Now that Khalid Abu Bakar, the Inspector-General of Police, has waded in with a final warning to critics of Jakim’s sermon, people are laughing even harder. You Malaysians really do have an enviable supply of comic geniuses in your country – which should come as no surprise, as Lord Bobo has told you before about Malaysia’s good ranking in the in the Universal Comedy Rankings (UCR) of “Best Comedy Destinations”.
What the IGP specifically said was this: “I give the final warning and reminder to those who try to cause public anger, because that matter can threaten their safety.” – and yes, before you think that this is a quote from a testosterone-loaded gangster, no, this is your Inspector-General of Police.
But hey, perhaps you shouldn’t be laughing too much. After all, the IGP is looking out for your safety. The IGP is yet again proving that Malaysia does not have an impotent, useless police force. Your IGP’s super-scary threat is obvious proof that, when it comes to matters of great national importance (such as too many people making fun of morons), the police will step right in to kill the laughter.
Be grateful. Be proud. The IGP and the police have your back. With senior policemen like this, who needs criminals?
However, do not be afraid. There is no reason you cannot make fun of Jakim’s sermon. The IGP’s threat, as fierce and authoritative as he tries to make himself sound, is not grounded in law (which seems pretty common these days from your authorities and politicians). Go forth and ROFLYAO.
Although Lord Bobo already knows your question before you even knew you had a question, as a practical display of your true desire to have your query answered, His Supreme Eminenceness has graciously allowed you to communicate your questions by either emailing [email protected] or tweeting your question, mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #AskLordBobo. Now, what the hell are you waiting for? Hear This and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)!