‘Demi rakyat dan negara, we must be Malaysian First!’

It’s nearly time to say Happy Chinese New Year (Picture: Getty)
We are now just a few days away from the awesome celebration that is Chinese New Year, not just marked in China, but welcomed in around the globe with parades and parties. We are about to say goodbye to the year of the rooster and welcome in the year of the dog as the Chinese Zodiac continues its 12-year cycle.Across the UK there will be all kinds of celebrations – the best of which you can find here – and millions of gifts will be given across the planet to celebrate the occasion … for more, go to http://metro.co.uk/2018/02/07/chinese-new-year-chinese-zodiac-sign-7294372/

Demi rakyat dan negara, we must be Malaysian First!’

The call by a group of military and police veterans to Malaysians to join them in fighting rising racial and religious extremism in the country is timely.

National Patriots' Association (Patriot) president Brig-General (Rtd) Mohamad Arshad Raji's call is not only timely but extremely relevant to forging national unity and harmony in multi-religious multi-racial Malaysia.

“Malaysians are urged to welcome the Patriots' call to help unite Malaysians against extremism in any form from any quarter or individual,” Gerakan Deputy Speakers Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said Arshad told online news portal The Malaysian Insight that many veterans from his generation had grown weary of how some people have been using race and religion to divide the nation for political gain.

“Malaysians can see that happening the past few years. As I have said many times in this blog, leave race and religion out of politics.

“Treasure national unity and harmony to ensure Malaysians and Malaysia continue to prosper unabated,” he added.

"Here's a list of wealth and prosperity Chinese New Year greetings that you can use right away:

· 恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái) “Wish you wealth and prosperity.”

· 财源广进 (cái yuán guǎng jìn) ...

· 和气生财 (hé qì shēng cái) ...

· 金玉滿堂 (jīn yù mǎn táng) ...

· 一本萬利 (yī běn wàn lì) ...

· 招財進寶 (zhāo cái jìn bǎo) ...

· 財源滾滾 (cái yuán gǔn gǔn) ...

· 大吉大利 (dà jí dà lì)

For more, go to https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+new+year+greetings+phrases&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiG17q2jpvZAhUHK48KHaVeDdgQ1QIIeSgH&biw=1358&bih=588 
"

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14) said: “I do not hesitate to call myself a Malaysian or that ‘I Am Malaysian First’ … not race.

Demi rakyat dan negara (for people and country), we must be loyal and proud to be Malaysian. Reject those who are unable to declare themselves ‘I Am Malaysian First’ and their associates or associations.

“As the police have stressed regularly, the threat of terrorism in Malaysia is serious and growing. This is partly due to rising extremism and intolerance in Malaysian society,” he added.

“The Chinese New Year Celebration is here again. So, lets start understanding the traditions of ethnic Chinese Malaysians. There is no better way to forge national unity and harmony by understanding one another,” Syed Razak Alsagoff said.

The following is an article on eight Chinese New Year traditions that the Chinese should get right and another on the call by Patriot:

"Eight Chinese New Year Traditions to get right

NATION
Saturday, 10 Feb 2018
12:18 PM MYT
by bryna singh

 

Chinese New Year is just around the corner but what do the customs and food eaten during this festive season mean?

1. Ang pow

Is there a minimum sum that an ang pow should contain? Must the amount always be an even number? Can I put coins or old notes into an ang pow? Can I put a 4D ticket in place of physical money into an angpow?

Angpow, or red packets, are traditionally handed out by married couples to their parents, single adults and children during the Chinese New Year celebrations as tokens of good fortune and blessing. There is said to be no rule in terms of the amount that should go into an ang pow, as the act of giving a red packet is meant to be a gesture of blessing and not a transaction.

According to Chinese tradition, good things come in pairs, so an even number is preferred. You won't go wrong with the number eight, as the number sounds like prosperity in Mandarin. Don't give RM4, as it is the Chinese homonym for death.

 

Dr Kang Ger-Wen, course chair for Chinese Studies in Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Humanities and Social Science, says that in the olden days in China, people would put coins into ang pow without notes. That was because coins were valuable to people then, before paper notes came about. These days, however, he has seen that it is no longer a custom to put coins into a ang pow.

Associate Professor Lim Lee Ching, vice-dean at the School of Human Development and Social Services at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, says there are no rules against putting coins into an ang pow. He adds that when the gold-coloured S$1 coins were first introduced in the 1980s, there was much excitement and people would use them in ang pow because the coin's colour and its octagonal inset were considered auspicious. He says there are no rules against putting old notes into an ang pow either.

Customarily, people do prefer new notes, which accompany the idea of spring and renewal. However, Prof Lim says if we think back to the origins of ang pow – which were first given by parents in China to their children in the form of coins – there were no banks minting new coins just to meet such demands.

On whether a 4D ticket can be inserted into an ang pow in place of physical money, Dr Kang says it's perfectly acceptable.

In the event that the receiver of the ang pow wins money from the lucky draw, it will be viewed that the sum won was from the giver of the ang pow.

2. Pussy willow

Why is the pussy willow popular during this festive season?

Because pussy willow plants (also known as catkins) bear their furry buds from late winter onwards, they signify the beginning of spring.

Its Chinese name, yin liu, sounds like "money flowing in".

Some Chinese also believe that plants with abundant buds will bring good fortune.

3. Yee sang

What are the origins of the custom of eating yee sang during CNY?

The raw fish salad has been the speciality of China's Guangdong province for centuries and it is eaten there all year round.

 

It was brought to Singapore by Cantonese immigrants in the 1940s, and later popularised as a Chinese New Year dish by chefs from Lai Wah Restaurant in Bendemeer Road. Over the years, the salad has become a riot of colours and flavours, including red-and green-dyed radish strips, candied orange peel, and even the use of salmon.

The practice of eating it, complete with the high drama of tossing the ingredients into the air while loudly declaring auspicious wishes during Chinese New Year, is said to be unique to Singapore and Malaysia.

4. Reunion dinner

 

How did the concept of a reunion dinner come about?

Before modern and affordable forms of transport came about, it was difficult for family members living in different parts of China to return to their hometown more than once a year.

Chinese New Year was the only time when they would make the journey home for a reunion.

Today, the dinner is traditionally held on the eve of Chinese New Year, and serves as an occasion for family bonding.

5. Lion dance

 

Why do we see lion dance performances especially during CNY?

The lion is thought to be an auspicious animal that symbolises courage, determination and resourcefulness.

The lion dance is therefore believed to bring good fortune to those who watch it.

6. Mandarin oranges

Why do we exchange mandarin oranges during CNY?

This began as a southern Chinese custom.

The Cantonese pronunciation of giving mandarin oranges – "song kam" – is the same as "giving gold", therefore it signifies wishing prosperity upon the recipient.

7. Bak kwa

Why do we eat bak kwa during CNY?

Bak kwa (barbecued pork jerky) is a delicacy that is said to have originated from Fujian province in China, where the people were poor and where meat was a festive treat reserved for Chinese New Year.

To make the treat last longer, the pork was sliced thinly, marinated with sugar and spices, air-dried and cooked over a hot plate.

The delicacy subsequently made its way to Singapore, where the pork slices are usually air-dried, then grilled over charcoal for a sweet and smoky flavour.

Beyond being tasty, the jerky is also called "long yoke" in Cantonese, which means to have good fortune.

8. Goodies

Why do we eat goodies such as pineapple tarts, kueh bangkit and love letters during CNY?

Pineapple tarts are said to be taken from the Straits Chinese or Peranakans' cookie repertoire, which later found their way to become a must-eat during the festive season.

The Cantonese term for pineapple is "wong lai" - which conveys the idea of ushering in prosperity.

That suggests that Straits-born Chinese or Malays gave the original a local twist.

For the same reason, kueh bangkit, which is made from tapioca flour and coconut milk, is likely a Peranakan or Malay invention. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network (The Star Online)

Veterans invite Malaysians to join fight against religious, racial extremism

Amin Iskandar
Updated about 11 hours ago · Published on 8 Feb 2018 7:00AM · 
 

Rakan Patriot is open to all Malaysians who want a harmonious nation without religious and racial fanaticism. – EPA pic, February 8, 2018.
A GROUP of military and police veterans have urged ordinary Malaysians to join them in fighting against what they see as rising racial and religious extremism in the country.

Retired brigadier general Mohamad Arshad Raji, president of the grouping called Patriot (National Patriots' Association), said many veterans from his generation have grown weary of how some people have been using race and religion to divide the nation for political gain.

“When we were serving, we shed our blood for an inclusive Malaysia, not the Malaysia of today,” Arshad told The Malaysian Insight.

He said Patriot, which was formed in March last year, was meant to be a platform for those who had fought for this nation to have a voice in speaking up against religious and racial tensions.

However, the group decided that they wanted to include like-minded, ordinary Malaysians into their fold, leading to the formation of “Rakan Patriot”, or Friends of the Patriots, for those who had not served with the armed forces or police.

“Through Rakan Patriot, we want to show that every citizen has a role to play in creating the type of country they desire to live in ,” Arshad said.

He said that to ensure that Malaysia returns to become a harmonious nation without religious and racial fanaticism, as many citizens as possible need to get involved in the fight.

“They need to be curious and then voice out on all issues relating to the state of this country,” he said, adding that anybody showing an interest in programmes aimed at fostering unity and harmony is welcome to join “Rakan Patriot”.

He said “Rakan Patriot” will be launched on February 14.

“We will also be officiating the Patriot’s website on that day.

“We will also announce the programmes for ‘Rakan Patriot’ that will be carried out this year,” said Arshad.

Brigadier general (rtd) Mohd Arshad Raji says members of Patriot cannot use the group as a political platform. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 8, 2018.

Apolitical

Arshad also repeated his assertion that the grouping has no intention to get involved in politics.

“Patriot is an NGO which is apolitical. However, this does not mean that Patriot members can’t be members of any political party.

“If any of our members want to become independent candidates in the coming general election, that is their right.

“(But) Patriot will not endorse any of its members who desire to run in the 14th general election,” he said.

In an interview with The Malaysian Insight last year, Arhad said the state of racial harmony that was enjoyed by Malaysians had been “almost destroyed” by a handful of power-hungry politicians.

Arshad said his generation had been raised to look beyond race and religion, adding that it was “evil" politicians that have created racial and religious strife among the younger generation. – February 8, 2018. (TMI)
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N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

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