The majority of Malaysians are currently undergoing the obligations of the Muslim community, which is to fast during the month of Ramadhan. Being in the month of Ramadhan or better understood by the Muslim community in Malaysia as the fasting month, the month of worship (bulan Ibadah) and the month of Muhasabah, is an opportunity for Muslims to restore the goodness and purify the bad values and traits in themselves.
However, if seen from the context of the Muslim community in Malaysia at present, the coming of Ramadhan is the same as the coming of The Month of Festivals. Food Festivals, Buffet Festivals, Iftar Festivals, Sahur Festivals, Shopping Festivals and Festivals to satisfy our Nafsu. Referring to the statistics of the National Solid Waste Management Department, the month of Ramadan is also synonymous with an Increase in Total Solid Waste dumped by Malaysians.
The latest report explained that the Solid Waste in the state of Perlis increased by 25% or 180 tonnes a day in Ramadhan compared to 130 tonnes a day in a regular month. Consequently, the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) asks Malaysians, in conjunction with this Ramadhan, to avoid the commercialisation of religion. It is necessary to mobilize society at all levels, including the authorities and the government so that this month of Ramadhan is appreciated once more as the month of worship and the month to do good. The meaning of the commercialisation of religion is when there exist elements of trading, influencing, and exploiting religion for the sake of material goods alone. There are signboards advertising hotels, restaurants, residences and even villages in the area that promote a wide variety of iftar and sahur packages that offer dozens of types of food at various prices. The Ramadhan bazaar, which exists in every corner of society, reinforces the meaning of the commercialisation of religion. Malaysians, especially those who are Muslims, should be more sensitive to this issue by avoiding buffet festivals and iftar and sahur events that are far from true Islamic teachings. Food wastage, dozens of types of food during iftar or sahur, excessive spending, advertisements promoting Pre-Eid Celebration sales and hotel buffets are a manifestation of the commercialisation of religion. Take for example in Sri Lanka, when the people are approaching Vesak Day, the Sri Lankan Government forbids advertisements for the celebration of Vesak day as it defiles of the purity of the Buddhist religion. (Report The New York times, May 04, 2018). The Malaysian Government should ensure that the commercialisation of religion be contained during this noble month of Ramadhan. Any form of the commercialisation of religion that exists should be restricted. The Islamic Bodies and Institutions that are responsible should be the defenders against the effort to commercialize this religion.
Press Release, 24 May 2018