Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
Recently, Brother Haji Kamarudin Abdullah, Chairman of the Islamic Propagation Society International, complained to me about the way a certain guard by the name of Zainal had been rudely chasing away tourists and visitors who came to the historic Masjid Jamek.
As his complaint was voiced out through the phone and I had no idea as to the identity of the person concerned, I advised Brother Kamaruddin to lodge an official complaint to the masjid's administration committee for they would be in a better position to solve the matter.
Yesterday, 18th of November, I had gone to the masjid after my meeting with YB Tn Hj Zulkifli Noordin and a few other bloggers to discuss how to solve the 'Tauliah' @ Religious Credentials issue which has been sparked off by the Selangor Islamic Department's arrest and subsequent charging of the former Mufti of Perlis Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin of 'teaching without credentials' in the State of Selangor!
A preposterous case indeed.
Coming back to the subject of this posting.
Old photo of myself at the Masjid Jamek
I reached the Masjid Jamek just after Zohor and rented a locker to store my boots. I paid the locker rental fee of just a ringgit and enquired as to whether the guard would mind my notebook bag and jacket while I went to pray?
He didn't want to accept any such responsibility and asked me to bring my belongings with me to the main masjid praying area.
Okay, fine enough. I understood his position and went about my way to the ablution area and then went to the main prayer hall and performed my Zohor prayers.
When I returned to the guard post and wanted to return the key to the locker and reclaim my boots, I heard some loud voices outside.
I saw the guard talking in very poor English trying his best to stop some Chinese tourists from entering the masjid grounds.
His excuse was that it was raining and he didn't want the tourists to get the visitors robes wet and also due to the fact that the masjid was having some refurbishing work replacing the ceiling lights at the outer area of the masjid's flanks.
Quite a whole load of bull as I see it! Why would the tourists want to go disturb the workmen?
Usually the visitors will just walk around the masjid building, take some photos and then be on their way after checking out the oldest masjid of Kuala Lumpur.
No big deal.
Main entrance area to the masjid.
The problem with yesterday's incident was that the guard was ill equipped to handle such guests to the masjid in a decent, acceptable manner.
The guard in question was having a hard time making himself understood.
I went to his rescue and asked him what was the matter?
Sensing his inadequate command of even the simplest of English, I spoke to the visitors and found out that they were Taiwanese.
I spoke to them in Hokkien and explained the situation.
Then came this guy by the name of Zainal and he was just bloody rude to the other visitors.
There arrived a group of tourists and he was rudely and loudly chasing them out. Saying the masjid was closed, bla bla bla!
I advised him not to be so and reminded him that these were guests to the masjid and one should not disrespect them!
He was stubborn and kept speaking like an uneducated imbecile, incapable of hearing good advice.
If it was a group of locals that this rude man had spoken so aggressively to, I am pretty sure that he would have got a 'fat lip' in no time!
I invited the tourists to take shelter under the awning provided besides the guard post and ABIM brochure stand and explained to them that the reason the guard was being so offensive was because of his fear of the visitor robes getting wet, etc.
That however was not an excuse for the fellow's rudeness to the visiting tourists in the first place!
After the tourists left, I proceeded to go and meet my friend, who runs a travel agency nearby and who is one of the masjid's administration committee member.
He happens to be quite a prominent Indian Muslim philanthropist business tycoon but prefers to maintain a very low profile hence my not naming him here.
I related the incident involving the rude guard to him.
He acknowledged that there has been many similar complaints about that particular rude, uncouth guy but they, the masjid's administration are hard pressed because they can't find any replacement for him due to the low salary that they are paying for such a job?
RM600 per month.
Any of you know any decent Muslim who can speak good English and other languages, know basic knowledge of Islam and willing to take over from that uncouth chap, please give me a call and I will get you or the person you are recommending that post?
We need to get that fella packing! He is spoiling the good name of the Masjid Jamek Bandaraya!
The Masjid Jamek is a prayer area and sanctuary for the Servants of Allah.
Tourists and visitors flock to it because it is promoted and published as a place to visit by both the Tourism Ministry and all tour and travel agencies of the world.
To have such a rude, ignorant, uncouth, loudmouth like that guy spoiling the reputation of the much celebrated and historical masjid is just waiting for a disaster to happen!
One of these days, some tourist is just going to snap and plaster the fella real good!
Do we have to wait till that happens?