Dead To Me: The Saga Continues
Considering it is the 50th year of Malaysian independence, it's not surprising to see advertisements in magazines touting "Visit Malaysia Year 2007". Neither is it surprising to see the visage of our Prime Minister and Tourism Minister on these advertisements. (And it's really the only way I'd even know what our Tourism Minister looks like, since I can't be bothered to stare at pictures of our mammoth-sized Cabinet.)
A few days ago, I was surprised to see a photoshopped picture of said Tourism Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, depicting him as some form of Jabba the Hutt or God knows what. I wondered what the reason for this could be, since last time I checked, the Tourism portfolio wasn't exactly conducive towards controversy. (At the most, one might have to apologise to the Chinese nation for the Police making a Chinese-looking Malay woman do nude squats.)
All was revealed yesterday, when I was linked to a blog post from a few days back highlighting some ridiculous remarks by Tengku Adnan — remarks that remind me just why so many of our politicians and leaders aren't worth the air they breathe. These remarks were later splashed across the alternative media; I just spotted a couple of pieces about them in Malaysia Today.
For those who have not had the pleasure of reading Tengku Adnan's remarks, however, here is one reported transcript of them (unfortunately, I wasn't given enough context to reproduce the whole thing):
Bloggers are liars. They use all sort of ways to cheat others. From what I know, out of 10,000 unemployed bloggers, 8,000 are women.
Bloggers like to spread rumours, they don’t like national unity. Today our country has achievements because we are tolerant and compromising. Otherwise we will have civil war.
Malays will kill Chinese, Chinese will kill Malays, Indians will kill everybody else.
We have to show to the people our positive attitude. If the world learns from us, there will [be] peace and no civil war.
If you haven't doubled up in laughter/vomit yet, then permit me to continue. Tell me, why on earth is this man still alive and kicking? I mean, I know it's his job to promote our country and all, but last time I checked, he was the Tourism Minister, not Propaganda Minister. (And our actual Information Minister, Zainuddin Maidin, is another fellow not worth the air he breathes for his ridiculous proposal of apartheid in the modeling industry.)
It's one thing to defend your country's reputation on facts. It's another to defend them with a basis of lies. And it's another thing to defend them by using blanket labels to slander an entire body of people.
I don't know if I would consider myself a blogger. I occasionally refer to this site as a blog, and I know a lot of people would call this a blog. Whatever I am, I don't take much personal offense at Tengku Adnan's remarks.
What I take offense at is the fact that my taxes (well, my parents' taxes actually, since I don't pay taxes just yet) are going towards paying this man's salary, when by right he should be six feet under. (Metaphorically speaking, for those who are inclined to sue me for libel.)
I know that a lot of bloggers are liars. I'm sure a lot of them are cheaters and unemployed women, too. But that doesn't make it right to assume all (or even a majority) of bloggers are liars, cheaters and/or bums with nothing better to do than blog.
Tengku Adnan also seems to be unable to differentiate political blogging from lifestyle blogging. Many political bloggers (and many, many more blog commenters) further racism and disunity in our country, but very few (if any) lifestyle bloggers do. And most lifestyle bloggers are these unemployed women he alluded to. (And for the record, I'd like to know which part of his ass Tengku Adnan pulled that 8,000 out of 10,000 figure from.)
I find it very rich, though, that Tengku Adnan would accuse bloggers of harming national unity. True, a lot of them are racists, and a lot of them are just rabblerousers who have nothing better to do than rant and blame and complain.
But how are they hurting the country more than a certain political party whose last year's annual general assembly's focus was on the spilling of blood of the non-Malays? I'm quite shocked Tengku Adnan isn't aware of this party, since it's the leading party in our ruling regime, and also happens to be his party.
I'm not sure what lessons the world could learn from this party (UMNO), but I'm quite sure that whatever they are, they wouldn't be very likely to help bring about peace on earth and goodwill to men. If anything, they'd probably encourage more xenophobia and distrust between the races.
These comments are sure to irk (or would be sure to irk) Tengku Adnan if he read them. He'd probably accuse me of being another one of those bloggers out to harm national unity. I don't know about you, but I don't see anything racist about criticising a party whose leaders routinely talk about spilling the blood and trampling upon the rights of other races.
Well, whatever the case, it's just too bad. It turns out that our Tourism Minister is yet another one of those chaps who, for all intents and purposes, are now dead to me. Much like American political comedian Stephen Colbert, I have no tolerance for idiots and rascals like our Tourism-cum-Insane-Propaganda Minister.