Here Kutty, Kutty, Kutty

Posted on March 24, 2009

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“Proclaim their real parentage. That will be more equitable in the sight of God. And if ye know not their fathers, then (they are) your brethren in the faith, and your clients. And there is no sin for you in the mistakes that ye make unintentionally, but what your hearts purpose (that will be a sin for you). God is ever Forgiving, Merciful” – Surah 33 verse 5 of the Holy Qur’an.

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I’ve always understood this verse to mean that you do not change the name of  a person such that the identity of his parentage gets lost in the name change.

For example, say Leong Kim Soon names his firstborn son Leong Soon Kim.

Soon Kim, upon attaining the age of majority, embraces Islam.

Should he now change his name to Imran bin Abdullah?

Premised on my understanding of the above verse, no.

Maybe, to avoid an accidental burial as a non-Muslim upon his death, the addition of “bin Abdullah” behind his name of birth might not offend the the verse above.

Leong Soon Kim bin Abdullah might just be acceptable.

See, you add to the name, and not remove anything therefrom.

And the name, with the “bin Abdullah”, continues to proclaim the parentage of Soon Kim.

Which brings me to my questions.

Why would a certain doctor cum politician of the Muslim faith and born of an Indian father drop the “Kutty” in his name of birth?

To be more Malay than your average thoroughbred Malay, perhaps?

And why would such a person go out of his way to portray himself as the champion of the Malays, all the whilst turning a blind eye to the plight of those marginalised from his Indian side of the family?

Ashamed of his Indian parentage, perhaps?

Feels the need to be more Malay than the average thoroughbred Malay, perhaps?

Not politically expedient, both for himself and those of his progeny who may also incline towards politics to amass riches, to not be seen by others as Malay, perhaps?

I mean, I share the same circumstance as this doctor in that I’m of mixed parentage.

Dad was Malay and mum was Ceylonese.

Me?

I’m anak Bangsa Malaysia.

That doctor, though, has turned out to be a rabid racist.

Who went wrong, I wonder?

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