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Leave Bah Ku Teh Alone!

CC Pung, Justice of Peace , Tokoh Wartawan Sabah and Labuan, dose of philosophical musings.

Tourism Minister found some basis to declare bah kut teh (literally in Hokkien (or Fujuan) dialect means meat bone tea a heritage food.

It’s so named because the main meat ingredients is pork bone cooked in a strong mixture of many Chinese medicinal herbs.

It is usually accompanied with rice and washed down with tea.

Thus bah kut teh.

Like Colgate evolving to mean toothpaste and Kodak a synonym of photographic film, bah kut teh , a Malaysian creation, has evolved into just a name of a food cooked with herbs, eaten with rice and washed down with the ubiquitous tea.

The meat can be chicken, or seafood. I haven’t seen bah kut teh with beef or lamb or duck yet.

But who knows?

The heritage title is ruffling some Mislim feathers because they are averse to pork, and they identify bah kut teh with only pork although bah kut teh of chicken and seafood are widely consumed and wildly popular.

Some Muslims are so upset they are calling the tourism minister to be sacked.

I think I can understand how the Muslim can be upset by this.

Why they can rationalised to argue in favour of mosques blasting over the PA system the daily call to prayers, they couldn’t tolerate mission schools displaying crucifixes in classrooms, and buildings whose window or door frames look like crosses.

They say that Muslims are sensitive to those images and figurines, and that their faith could be affected.

I’m no expert in the unseen or unknowable things.

But I do get the sense that if you could hide behind  these unknown and claim to speak on their behalf, you are given any amount of elbow space you claim, and silly things are no longer silly.

The most brutal, barbaric, stupidly ludicrous things  have been done in the name of some divine being and their religion.

But talking about it is taboo, wrong, blasphemous or condemn the talkers to hell for eternity.

Everyone is scared into silence. Atheism, agnotism and any kind of non belief is spoken about and portrayed as negative.

What little I know is that disbelief has no ‘God’ figure, and they are not responsible for the millions who perished in the name of ‘god’ in the history of mankind.

Even this last sentence sounds odd .

By the way, you religious zealots out there can sack the tourism minister, curse the pigs, but leave bah kut teh alone.

Editor The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Talantang.

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