Archive for December 3rd, 2009

Of becoming the butt of a joke

Penang opposition leader Azhar Ibrahim was reportedly ejected from the state assembly hall after he allegedly showed his butt to the House Speaker in a show of defiance against the call for him to apologise after he refused to retract the use of the word kerat, which the Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons found it offensive.

Azhar protested that his political opponents merely misread his physical conduct as he ‘had only turned his back’. Some people may want to be generous enough to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Be that as it may, there’s no doubting that there had been some politicians who had metaphorically turned their backs on issues and matters of national import and urgency — in the Malaysian Parliament, state assembly halls and elsewhere.

Take, for instance, the case of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker yesterday. He rejected the urgent motion to declassify the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide report, the kind of information that is so crucial to not only the affected families but also other concerned Malaysians who seek transparency in the government and truth in the grave matter.

In other words, the landslide issue is so crucial that it defies logic and human compassion for it not to be discussed by the lawmakers.

And it gets even more tragic that such an information is classified official secret. Yet, this matter was not considered to be urgent enough for deliberation.

Another issue that is no less urgent and vital is the Biro Tata Negara controversy. The allegations hurled against the BTN are so serious as they imply rabid racism, bigotry, ethnic divisiveness and the fostering of hatred towards the Opposition and govenment critics.

And yet, many politicians and lawmakers, particularly those from the Barisan Nasional, prefer to turn their collective back on this matter.

Surely, those who are purportedly concerned about national unity and integration, such as politicians from UMNO, MCA, MIC and Gerakan, among others, would be appalled to hear of stories of certain BTN lecturers who allegedly promoted inter-ethnic anxiety, if not tension.

Besides, isn’t this kind of BTN indoctrination antithetical to the much touted 1Malaysia?

For many of the ordinary, patient Malaysians who often find their intelligence being ridiculed, the misconduct of these politicians can be a real pain in the you-know-where.