On the Beat | By Wong Chun Wai

Hit by a hard rock

So much fuss over a purported plan to set up a Hard Rock Cafe in Putrajaya – and we know it’s not even going to happen.

I WAS reading the newspaper in a kopitiam when I spotted the controversy over the purported plan to set up a Hard Rock Café (HRC) in Putrajaya.

I really couldn’t believe what I was reading. Like most Malaysians, I almost choked on my food.

To put it bluntly, I felt as if I had been hit by a hard rock while at the café – okay, kopitiam.

Here are 10 reasons why I find the purported plan silly.

Reason No 1: It was another classic case of Malaysian over-reaction. Perkasa was screaming its head off even though Putrajaya Corporation chief Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat said there was no application to open a HRC in the administrative capital. The local Hard Rock Café franchise holder Tan Sri Syed Mohd Yusof Syed Nasir also confirmed that there was no such plan. So what was the fuss all about?

Reason No 2: Have any of the critics ever set foot inside a HRC outlet? Seriously, do they know what they are talking about? The last time I was there, the Strollers Two was playing.

Hello, only uncles and aunties will know who the Strollers are.

Please lah. Tempat maksiat? Duh! HRC all around the world have a reputation for hosting family gatherings. Maybe the steaks are a little over-priced but it’s the last place you want to go for a pick-up, unless cougars are your preferences. Footnote: Cougars are not animals despite their somewhat animalistic demands.

Reason No 3: HRC will destroy morality! This will surely go down as one of the best jokes for 2014. But hey, it’s only January. We’ve got 11 more months to go!

Reason No 4: Liquor cannot be served if a HRC is opened in Putrajaya. In the first place, it’s an unusual statement because no one is planning to open one there. No liquor in Putrajaya? Well, try visiting the hotels there.

Reason No 5: Malaysia is in danger of becoming a country with two systems and two sets of laws. HRC Kuala Lumpur can have liquor but cross over to another part of the Federal Territory – Putrajaya – and it won’t be allowed, even if it is a HRC.

Reason No 6: We know it’s not going to happen. Aseh says no, Syed Yusof says no and HRC International isn’t going to ever say yes.

But if it should ever happen, we could have the first HRC to serve sugar-saturated air bandung and teh tarik to the Putrajaya officials as they huddle together to discuss ways to fight the evil of diabetes.

Reason No 7: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said Putrajaya is dull. It should be boring, really.

No one can deny what he has said. He is, after all, the brains behind the administrative capital, and he has apologised for not thinking of the entertainment aspect.

The place is close to being deserted after office hours, unless sitting under the bridge or hearing the buzz of mosquitoes has become a new Malaysian pastime.

You’ll like Putrajaya if you are a thrill seeke­r testing the limits of being hit by dengu­e fever or risking being caught for “immoral behaviour” with your girlfriend under the bridge by the religious authorities.

Reason No 8: It is so dull you can count with one hand the number of Cabinet members, deputy ministers and political secretarie­s who actually stay there. It is also probably the only administrative capital in the world where no foreign countries want to set up an embassy.

Reason No 9: Thank you, Dr Mahathir, for revealing that Putrajaya was inspired by the Champs Élysées, the main boulevard in Paris, which is totally different from Perkasa’s claim that it was modelled after the Muslim holy city of Medina.

In reality, the Putra Mosque, particularly its basement wall, is reportedly constructed to resemble that of the King Hassan Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco, while the minaret is influenced by the design of the Sheikh Omar Mosque in Baghdad.

So, Mr Perkasa has been caught shooting off his mouth without thinking, which is not unusual.

Reason No 10: And finally, religious hymns or worship songs, of any religion, in an entertainment outlet? Good try.