Online fury over dedak, duit raya and ang pow

ismail

PETALING JAYA: An Umno leader, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, has taken Perak DAP’s Nga Kor Ming to task for reportedly describing ‘duit raya’ as akin to bribery or “dedak” in an online posting that has sparked anger and brought a spate of police reports.

Ismail, who is an Umno Supreme Council Member, said Nga’s remark was uncalled-for. “He can be described as ‘biadap’ and not a wise leader. Does he understand our culture or our practice?,” said Ismail Sabri, quoted by Star Online.

“Perhaps he wanted cheap publicity through this matter as his statement can cause unhappiness among the Malay community.”

Ismail Sabri, who is MP for Bera, said Nga should apologise to the Malay community “if he really had said so on his Facebook account as reported”.

Nga, who is a Perak DAP leader and MP for Taiping, is the subject of police reports after a posting reported at 5.15pm on July 6 which carried a cartoon of children saying that they did not seek duit raya on this occasion but Hari Raya donations, or “dedak” if donations were not forthcoming.

The image was said to bear the heading “Hanya di Malaysia di bawah UMNO, Selamat Hari Raya”.

Dedak (which means animal feed) is a derogatory term popularly used by opposition supporters to refer to government and political handouts.

The posting does not appear on his page, but an image has been reposted by commenters.

In a posting this afternoon, Nga described as a lie an image that showed him purportedly saying that Chinese new year ang pows could not be described as bribes because they were part of Chinese culture.

However, Ismail had also pointed out yesterday that other communities also had a practice of giving money or donations during festive seasons, such as “ang pau” at Chinese New Year, or presents at Christmas or contributions during Deepavali.

The practice of giving ‘duit raya’ to guests, especially to children, at Hari Raya Aidilfitri open houses, was a gesture of appreciation. “It is our culture and the children who receive the money are happier for attending the open house,” he said at his open house in Dataran Kerayong here.

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