Santa versus ‘The Grinch’: Easy choice for our readers

by Edgar Ong

RECAP: Our Dec 24 story titled ‘On Christmas, you love the Sultan of Johor or Brunei Sultan more?’ had surpassed even our wildest expectations by logging more than 150,000 views on Facebook by Dec 26, and more than 10,000 Likes and Shares on our online portal!

It went viral and sort of shone a light on homeland Malaysia that we sometimes took for granted, as compared to our neighbours in Brunei!

We had received hundreds comments on both our news portal as well as on our Facebook page, almost 95 per cent of which were in support of the Sultan of Johor while a small percentage (they did say they were either Brunei citizens or those from overseas) had either stayed neutral or supported the Brunei monarch.

Here is a small cross section of comments which were made with their postings (some edited for brevity or language) but names and pseudonyms were kept intact and unchanged:

Tearsformsia: Religion by legislation only happens in Islamic countries. Why? Faith must be from the inner being of a person not by force. Legislation only brings disrepute and ridicule to the very religion that it seeks to protect. Keeping harems is ok, but greeting others Merry Christmas is not ok. What a hypocrite!

MusaNg:  ‘The Grinch’ of Brunei aka Bolkiah is nothing then (sic) a mean-spirited creature who thinks he can force Islam down the throats of his subjects. The hilarious thing is that none of the Islamic laws he imposes on his subjects apply to him or his family! The Sultan of Johor on the other hand is garnering accolades for his attempts at inclusiveness among his subjects.

Zaitun Jaya: Come over to Brunei to see with your own eyes. Don’t just condemn what you all read in the media. The sultan only said that applies to his own citizen (sic) of Brunei especially the Muslims. Did he block the church? We are aman damai, we mind our own business. Please mind your own, Look what happened to your country. Do you live in harmony? No, right!

Rio AngeLos: Brunei is rich but in terms of happiness, it’s nothing. Bruneians go to Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan to live a real life. Well, guess not only the outsiders hate the lifestyle, perhaps MOST Bruneians themselves.

Michael Yeow: The Sultan of Brunei is using Syariah law and religion to control his people in order to stay in power and this is the outcome. He himself has lived his life to the fullest when he was studying overseas and now he did this to his people. Isn’t that a double standard thing and hypocritical. Speechless!

Henry Wong: Kings and Queens can still serve a purpose in modern times, but I will oppose when one promotes segregation and bigotry. Haven’t we learned enough from the dark days of slavery, the Nazis, etc?

Schmuelsons Reid: Quite unfortunate for Bruneian Christians. Persecution is not new in Islamic countries whereby democracy does not dictate the governance of the state. Christianity is like a piece of nail, the more it’s hammered the deeper its roots grows. Christianity thrives on sufferings and discriminations much more than during times of leisure and comfort.

Saul: I wouldn’t waste my time commenting on the antics of the high and mighty. I might write the truth. I was told wisdom comes with age but do we see it?

Dezay J Valentino: Sarawakian here. I m agree with Bruneian. I have friends from Brunei and friends who work in Brunei. Never heard them insult the Sultan of Brunei. I have seen some photos of the sultan himself visiting flood victims barefoot. Unlike our PM Jibby. So much drama from Malaysia. Even the newspapers I cannot trust.

I will conclude this selection of comments of what seems to be the most common and popularly held views of why the Sultan of Johor wins here –

Lim Chan You: I will respect the Sultan of Brunei if he does what he preaches. But when the Syariah laws do not apply to him and the royal family, something is very wrong. Google their hedonistic lifestyles, his brother Prince Jefri etc.

Mario Wan Agus: I think Johore Sultan is wiser than Brunei Sultan when it comes to religious solidarity. You just cannot control how people celebrate their religion.

At the end of it all, it’s always the people, and in our case, the readers who have the right to say how they feel. And it might be prudent for those who govern us or lead the government and nation to take note of such feedback from the people.

We thank you all for your comments. Keep on writing to us. – The Ant Daily

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