What if Amy Cheong was right?
The void decks are common spaces that are supposed to be used by peoples for their lawful activities that include weddings and funerals, and to sleep at when your spouse or parents throw you out.
Void decks are voids to be filled.
No doubt Cheong was wrong to pinpoint a specific race for blame, for being noisy and extending her rant further by linking to an activity that actually creates void in peoples’ lives i.e. divorce.
That she was a member of the labour movement added to the ‘fcuking’ (spelling mistake inherent from source) problem she is now having.
That she presented wrong costs of Malay weddings was even more disastrous. 50 bucks may not even get a booking of the void deck. Let alone the catering of food for about 1000 people. Probably this angered the ‘noisy community’ most.
That she linked the 50 bucks to divorce is even more ‘jia lat’.
Amy should be aware that the primary cause of her disturbance was probably a band of musicians playing live music at the void decks or even pakcik makciks belching to dangdut or Hindi music. The rental for the equipment costs more than 50 bucks. The pakciks and makciks are free.
Malay weddings are held at void decks probably because the kampungs have given way to the hdb flats. Space is the issue. In the kampungs, peoples of different races were immune to the noise that has become accepted as part and parcel of the kampung life. Furthermore, in the kampungs, there was perhaps a greater concentration of particular races such that issues were better received and managed. Well, maybe not in 1962 and 1964.
Also, it could be that the costs of having it elsewhere is a real challenge for the community. This is a ‘generic’ statement of course but most Malay- Muslim people wouldn’t think twice about holding the grandest day of their lives at the void decks.
As a concerned member of the community myself, I too have had my irritation at the noise level due to the playing of live music or music through speakers. There were some weddings I’ve attended that was held in such a small space that the microphone would have been redundant. And pakciks signing to the tunes of Peter Pan should really be banned. Not because of race, but because of the butchering of the song.
There were several times I worry about what other communities would feel. Or even members of the same community who have infants who have not slept all night and thus screaming in sync to the noise.
I think we have to be mindful of the noise level, be it at weddings or funerals because noise travels (you don’t say…).
Or need we have live music or karaoke to liven up weddings?
Or can we be a little bit more communicative by informing our neighbours of the impending wedding, not necessarily to invite, but to inform so as to be prepared. Wouldn’t this be much appreciated? ‘Hey look, so and so is getting married. There will be live music so let’s go out the whole day or go to our in-laws!’ The HDB quota system will ensure that not every weekend is a wedding weekend.
Amy Cheong is wrong to pinpoint race as contributing to noise. It’s people she should be talking about. Divorce is also an insensitive issue to bring up. Costs have nothing to do if people want to divorce. It’s unfortunate but better than having affairs on the side.
So for the rest of the ‘noisy neighbours’, let’s review our volumes. The grandest day of our lives could be a well- received day for the whole neighbourhood. Wasn’t it our beloved Prophet who said that maintaining good neighbourly relations is an important part of our lives?
Let’s chill and cut back on our music and volumes so that if we do get divorced, we won’t feel too stupid remembering Pakcik Mustapa singing ‘Selamat Pengantin Baru’. Selamatnye tidak, wallet pun kosong.