Shedding light to the recent uproar of protests by PAS, Perkasa and other Muslim NGOs about Oktoberfest held recently in 1 Utama Shopping Center recently which saw Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives attended in droves and after reading an article by Yeo Bee Yin, the State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on which she quoted Tunku Abdul Rahman, our country’s first Prime Minister, I remembered a school trip to The Tunku’s Memorial many years back.
The memorial in honour of Tunku Abdul Rahman, includes the Residency which was his official residence during his tenure as Prime Minister. At that time of my visit in 1997, I saw a bar at the Residency and an explanation note by the side. I am not too sure if the bar still exists for display at the Residency today due to the “I am holier than thou” type of politics in this country today. Well, it doesn’t matter if it is still there for we can know from reading Lee Kuan Yew’s The Singapore Story – Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew, published in 1998; Lee played poker and drank beer, wine, whisky and brandy with the Tunku. Three Star Hennessy was the Tunku’s favorite drink.
In page 412 of his memoir, Lee wrote:
His friends also humored him. When his horse was beaten at the races, one of them would often fish some tickets from his pocket and say, “ Tunku, I bought these tickets for you, I know you wouldn’t bet on this horse when your horse was running, but I knew it was going to win so I bought them for you.” The Tunku would go home a winner by a few hundred dollars in spite of his horse losing. It made his day.
Tunku Abdul Rahman’s likes for poker, horse betting and drinking was also shared by Datuk Tan Chin Nam in his biography, Never Say I Assume! published in 2006. Tan and the Tunku were best of friends. They were poker buddies and built a strong partnership in horses. Tan wrote that the poker sessions became notorious because of May 13 riots with radical students carrying posters reading “Keep away from Poker Players and Race-Goer” and “We Want a Dynamic Leader”. Tan also confirmed that Tunku himself drank Three Star Hennessy. Tan has also added that the Tunku even wanted to be the chairman of the Totalisator Board which controls racing.
Do all these make Tunku a bad person and a lousy leader and change your perception about him? No, to me, Tunku is still Tunku, one of the fighters of independence for this country and our beloved first Prime Minister. Thus, I would like to ask PAS, Perkasa, ISMA, retired High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah and yes, can’t forget, the pious Ridzuan Tee Abdullah, what is their comment that Tunku Abdul Rahman plays poker, bet on races and drank Three Star Hennessy? Or are you going to say Lee Kuan Yew and Datuk Tan Chin Nam wrote the wrong thing about Tunku? Both Lee and Tan are still around, so we need to get clarification from them?
If PAS, Perkasa and gang can’t give a satisfactory answer, stop making noise about non-Muslim’s involvement with Oktoberfest and don’t try to be “spiritual advisor” to non-Muslims. Just shut up and no one will say you all are dumb and deft. At the end of the day, it is the individual that is answerable to God, PAS can't answer to God on their behalf.