Feb 17, 2014
Ironically, Teresa Kok’s ‘Onederful Malaysia’ film, has managed to ‘unite’ Malaysians, in a perverse way. The characters in her satirical video speak Chinese, and the clip has both Chinese and English subtitles. Incredibly, non-Chinese people, ranging from the mighty Mahathir Mohamad to nondescript Malay NGOs, have watched this video. Teresa has managed to engage Malaysians, in true ‘1Malaysia’ fashion.
Credit must be given to the Malay/Muslim NGOs. They have generated interest in Teresa’s video and exposed the hidden, serious messages, to a much larger audience than if they had not publicised the video.
The Malay/Muslim NGOs know that they are above censure and can expose whomsoever they wish. No mainstream media would dare expose the profligacy of a certain spouse of a prime minister of a South-East Asian nation. The last paper to publish her alleged extravagance had its fingers singed, when the paper’s printing permit was revoked.
Abdul Rani Kulup, the chairperson of the Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia (MJMM) is the first person to publicly state that he thinks that Mrs Jit, in Teresa’s video, is Najib Abdul Razak’s spouse, the self-styled ‘First Lady’ Rosmah Mansor. It would be interesting to learn his basis for this assumption.
Abdul Rani is either very foolish or a very brave man. Perhaps, he has a personal grudge against Najib and is providing ammunition to the faction within Umno Baru which is trying to bring Najib down.
He said, “If we see one of the characters, the woman (in the video), she looks exactly (sebiji) like Rosmah Mansor. With the style, the handbag, the rings.”
Abdul Rani need only look around him to observe, that many Malay women, from kampongs to condominiums, have a penchant for handbags and rings. Some can afford the originals whilst others buy knock-offs. A Malay woman inspecting handbags in The Globe acts no differently to the one in Galleries Lafayette; she behaves the same in Arzu as in Aspreys.
In reality, Abdul Rani is the only one who has insulted Rosmah Mansor (FLOM).
Abdul Rani also said, “That is an insult. YB Seputeh Teresa should be taken to court because (her video) had elements of mocking and insulting our leaders.”
It is good that more Malays are watching Chinese videos because these are the first baby steps towards integration.
Abdul Rani should watch the British satirical TV series called ‘Spitting Image’, in which presidents, prime ministers, the royal family, religious leaders, including the Pope are mocked. Leaders who have been ridiculed in ‘Spitting Image’, quietly admit that they are pleased to be featured because that means they remain in the public arena. No publicity is bad publicity!
In a Bernama report, former PM Mahathir Mohamad said that Teresa’s video did not contribute to harmony among the communities or peace in the country. This is most disingenuous of him.
The video highlighted issues like excessive spending and security concerns of the public. There was nothing about race or religion. It was typical of Mahathir to attack Teresa for these reasons. He sowed the seeds of disunity in 1986, when he proposed that several words, including ‘Allah’, should be banned from use by Christians. Today, the clash between Muslims and non-Muslims is like a festering wound.
The coalition of Muslim NGOs offered a reward of RM1,200 to any member of the public who would slap Teresa. It intervened because the government was “too soft” to censure Teresa.
Abdul Rani said, “If no legal action is taken against leaders insulting the sultans, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or Malay Muslims, this will continue.”
Giving free publicity
Abdul Rani is to be praised for giving free publicity to Teresa for her video but the next step is for people like him, to actually read the English subtitles or learn Chinese, or get a friend to translate, so they can understand what is being said. There was nothing on race or religion. Teresa did not insult the Malays, the sultans or the Agong.
The truth is, Abdul Rani is an insult to the Malays because he cannot appreciate satire and does not understand English or Chinese. A little bit of humour brightens our lives. Didn’t we snigger when Rosmah said she was able to buy her rings because she had been saving since she was a teenager?
We were heartened when Abdul Taib Mahmud said his children were very intelligent and astute business people and had built up a multi-billion business empire from their pocket money.
Abdul Rani also said, “After this, there will be another. So just give one slap and they will keep quiet.”
I don’t know how old Abdul Rani is but I bet he, and most of the country, was quietly rejoicing when Mahathir emasculated the rulers in 1993.
Penang Wanita Umno chief Senator Norliza Abdul Rahim also waded in to criticise Teresa’s video, and that she said she supported the Muslim NGOs’ move to slap Teresa.
When a politician is weak, he or she can get fast-tracked to the top for the wrong reasons. Norliza appears to be one of those. She is a poor role model for women and children. They will associate the use of violence with disagreement.
Norliza censured Lim Guan Eng for ageist/sexist remarks a few months ago, but one wonders if she would have dared to demand an apology from MPs of her own party, such as Bung Moktar Radin, for their coarse, sexist remarks.
Abdul Rani, Mahathir and Norliza profess to uphold the rights of Malays, Islam and the rulers. They were silent when members of royalty received multi-billion ringgits worth of contracts. They were silent when one man, Imam Hoslan Hussein, tried to highlight the endemic corruption in mosques in his area, but was thrown into jail instead.
They remain silent when the ordinary Malay becomes the victim of corrupt Umno Baru Malay politicians and their cronies. They keep quiet when Malays who are not well-connected, become the victims of abuse and injustice.
The only criticisms to be levelled at Teresa are that ‘Onederful Malaysia’ should have Malay subtitles or dubbing, and that her team should make more videos of a similar nature. That would be most onederful.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).