Saturday, March 19, 2011

Being Religiously Clean

I find it ironic that here in Kuantan there is a stunning symbol of cleanliness in the Pahang State Mosque...

...yet people can't even keep the streets clean...

Yesterday we decided to have a clear-out of our home. Unnecessary objects were mercilessly piled up on the rubbish heap outside for disposal. We discovered our previous printer which we'll never use again. Four old, stained and dusty pillows that haven't left the shelf for over two years. An empty aquarium and pet cage hanging around doing nothing but creating clutter. A deflated bouncy castle with dirty patches that we will never blow up again. A pile of Christmas cards which we'll never re-read and which will be replaced with new versions each December. Empty cardboard boxes which once contained shoes.

They all took a dive into the bin!

The list went on and we ended up filling two shopping trolleys worth of rubbish which I carted down to the end of the block where the large bin sits. A Malay man began sifting through the mound of trash, stuffing his selections into a large, white sack.

De-cluttering the house is an annual event in our home, but I wish it would be a daily one. Each day, items enter our homes, whether they are newspapers, brochures, food, drink, gifts, toys, equipment etc. It would be much easier to screen these items or those they are replacing, on the day they arrive, than a year later when they've been stuffed into a dark and forgotten corner of the kitchen cupboard.

There is great inspiration in the Pahang State Mosque, as in all other religious temples and buildings, which display cleanliness, tidiness and order, both inside and out. They can become a model to base our own homes upon. However, judging by the littered streets in Kuantan, the effect of religion seems to play but a secondary role in life here, contrary to the fact that Malaysia is a multi-religious society.

Religion, of whatever kind, teaches cleanliness. Cleanliness of body, soul and mind. The great mosques, churches, temples, halls and synagogues are spotless, to invite a feeling of awe and reverence for God.

How then, can one justifiably claim to be a follower of God, and simultaneously live a life of littering?


  1. Blogger ate my first comment, so here goes again! I love your photographs, and your observation. Nice to meet you; April is going to be fun :)

  2. I like that mosque and its colors. And I agree we have to put into practice, more often, what religion but also school teach us.

  3. Your photos are, as always, wonderful and your observations thought provoking. Have a good evening. Blessings...Mary.

  4. The Mosque is so beautiful! I've never seen such a beautiful white Mosque.

  5. Nice posts, I also have a clean-out each year! Can't wait for the weekend to clear out a few things! :) Nice pictures!

  6. Kuantan will be very sick soon.
    Thanks to the government for allowing the RARE EARTH REFINERY PLANT to be built here............

  7. Thank you for all your contributions on this post.

    I think the government had pretty bad timing in allowing this refinery to be given the green light, so soon after the disaster in Fukushima.

  8. Such a nice way to put things in order - The Spring Clean-Up will be active soon at home too but you're right we get so many rubbish every day we should follow a bit more our different Religions and keep Home and Streets clean, for our health and our children.
    The photos are georgous by the way!

  9. The plant construction will be finishing soon. Expected to run the plant by end of this year.

    Petitions were signed in year 2008. but rejected by the court.


  10. Marie, I'm glad you like the photos! Wishing you a clean home and life!

    Anonymous, I'll write a more suitable post to discuss this pressing matter of the rare earth materials plant construction :)

  11. Interesting observations about litter but IMHO Kuantan generally is very tidy compared with other cities in Malaysia - it's the only city where I have seen signs chiding motorists for throwing litter from their cars. You pic actually shows some rubbish on a privately owned car park rather than littering the streets where I am sure it would quickly be removed by the council.

  12. Thanks for dropping by Anthony. It's regrettable that I have to disagree with you but honestly, Kuantan is no different to any other place in Malaysia when it comes to littering. This link to a more in-depth post will show you just a fraction of the littering I encountered on two short journeys around my neighbourhood:

    Contrary to popular belief, it's not quickly removed by the council, and if it is, then it's replaced instantaneously with more litter by ill-educated citizens. Even a dirty nappy is thrown onto public space near restaurants!

    It's a problem that doesn't need rectifying by the council, but in the hearts and minds and attitudes of the citizens.

  13. SO glad you got rid of that stuff. It didn't sound too good!! We have occasional clear-outs here but I guess everyone has their junk cupboard and certain items, like my teddies from when I was a child, will stay with me forever.

  14. Oh Rosalind, I still have my childhood teddy too! That is most certainly exempted from the junk clear-out!


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