Tuesday January 31, 2012
Young MCA leaders see red over Perkasa’s white packets
By LEE YEN MUN and SIRA HABIBU
PETALING JAYA: No excuse.
That’s the reaction from several young MCA leaders over Perkasa’s white ‘ang pow’ distributed at its Chinese New Year gathering on Sunday.
Money given out in white packets is traditionally associated with the pak kam (white gold), which are donations given at a funeral.
MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong said there was no excuse for what Perkasa did.
“Perkasa should have been aware. They should have learnt the practices of another race before organising such an event, so that they did not upset anyone,” said Chua.
MCA Youth secretary-general Datuk Chai Kim Sen described Perkasa’s white ‘ang pows’ as disrespectful and not knowing this was not an excuse.
“(Perkasa president) Datuk Ibrahim Ali should act in the people’s interest by understanding our multi-cultural society which he represents as a Member of Parliament,” Chai said in a statement.
On his Twitter handle @weekasiongmp, MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong slammed “some people” for not understanding the meaning of ang pow.
“Ang pow, in the Hokkien dialect, means red packet. If you want give an ang pow to your friends, make sure the colour is RED,” Dr Wee wrote.
Perkasa deputy president Datuk Rahman Bakar had said on Sun- day that the white packets were the only mini envelopes they had and that they did not know if some may be offended by the colour.
Meanwhile, Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali said they had no idea that white packets was taboo among the Chinese community.
“To us, white symbolises purity and sincerity. If we had known that it is wrong to give out white packets, we would not have done it,” he said.
Syed Hassan said the media should have highlighted Perkasa’s attempt to forge greater harmony, rather than harping on an honest mistake.