Zam – Minister for Misinformation and Disinformation (YouTube on parliamentary exchange)

See on YouTube the parliamentary exchange during question-time this morning where I said it is a misnomer to call Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin Minister for Information when he is really Minister for Misinformation and Disinformation. I observed that Zainuddin had “made a fool of himself” in his interview with Al Jazeera over the mammoth peaceful 10-Eleven BERSIH rally and petition on electoral reforms to the King, and whether this was why Zainuddin dared not appear in Parliament during question time, leaving it to his Deputy “Misinformation” Minister, Datuk Zahid Hamidi to hold the floor.

Malaysiakini had reported this episode as follows:

Kit Siang: Zam ‘minister of misinformation’
Yoges Palaniappan
Nov 13, 07 3:09pm

Minister of Misinformation – this was the new title conferred upon Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin by Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The issue started when Deputy Information Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (photo) answered a supplementary question posed by Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom).

Raime had asked Ahmad Zahid what action would be taken against the international media for their wide coverage on the mammoth rally held over the weekend.

The rally, organised by the opposition-backed Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), saw some 40,000 people taking to the streets and the submission of a memorandum to the King.

“The media gave a very biased coverage of the illegal gathering until it indicated that our country is in a big mess.

“How would (state-owned television station) RTM straighten this out? And what kind of action would be taken against the media that reported inaccurate facts?” asked Raime.

Responding, Ahmad Zahid (BN-Bagan Datok) said RTM, in its coverage of the rally, showed that demonstrations must not be used as a medium to gain people’s support.

“Even though RTM used the gathering as its lead story, we used the story to send across the message that demonstrations are not the right way to gain support from the public. This is because demonstrations are very undemocratic and could ruin our country’s image and drive away foreign investors,” he said.

‘Zam was wrong’

At this point, Lim (DAP-Ipoh Timur) stood up and said that Zainuddin had been wrong in accusing Al Jazeera, the international media mentioned by Raime, of alleged lopsided coverage.

Newspapers reported that Zainuddin, who is popularly known as Zam, had described the satellite television station’s coverage as unfair and confusing to people living overseas.

Lim said instead of pointing the finger at others, the ministry should look at its own coverage of the gathering.

“RTM is guilty of not reporting the facts. In fact, it did not even dare to give the exact number of people who had gathered on that day,” he said.

“It is unfair to say that Al Jazeera had conspired with the opposition. The truth is, RTM had conspired with Barisan Nasional to report negatively. And the order was given by the information minister (Zainuddin), who is the minister of misinformation,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid then urged Lim to retract his remark and this led to a shouting match between opposition and BN MPs.

However, Lim not only refused to withdraw his statement, but also called Ahmad Zahid the ‘deputy minister of misinformation’.

  1. #1 by MISHUGINA on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 - 11:52 pm

    I cannot believe BN has serious issues with myopia. Zam claims Al Jazeera is biased smacks of pot calling kettle black since RTM and local press distorted the coverage on BERSIH rally. Badawi said earlier that truth must be told even if it hurts yet Astro had to censure Al-Jazeera’s coverage on the BERSIH rally. Nay-sayers at BN pooh-poohed the whole incident saying that our democracy has not self-destruct like Myammar and Pakistan. The truth is, we’re already heading that way. How can we call ourselves a democracy when the ruling government resorts to manipulating the media to spread it’s own propaganda? Secondly and it most importantly which smacks REAL double standards is that the “Opposition” cannot be allowed to hold a peaceful demonstration while Khairy Jamaluddin attempted to confront Condolezza Rice by demonstration during her visit here.

  2. #2 by bra888 on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 12:21 am

    What I’m about to say is what I believe will make many people to argue against me. However, I believe I should point it out anyway.

    Lim Kit Siang
    I believe that name calling should not be used in an argument. Considering that name calling, to me, does not prove anything and in fact isn’t a constructive argument at all.

    What name calling does is that it provokes your opponent to counter-argue with more name callings. Name calling also shows emotions, it isn’t professional. Therefore, it almost seem to look like children calling names at each other.

    We have to remember that this is politics, not a playground where children call names to each other. The job does not come with name callings. Name calling is like a mockery in your profession, not a sacred weapon.

    I don’t believe lawyers argue with name callings to win their cases. I don’t remember seeing any other famous politician in the world who argues with name callings.

    I understand that the name calling truly does fit to Zam. But it should be used by anyone else other than you. You also have a reputation as a professional politician to protect.

    Yes, you are only human. There’s a limit of your patience to accept their name callings to you. But I certainly believe that you don’t want to end up being like them, shouting and calling other people ‘Bodoh’.

    If you continue to name call other people, then to me, you seem to be going towards the path where Zam is going, calling and shouting.

  3. #3 by bra888 on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 12:26 am

    Name callings does not come with the job.

  4. #4 by smeagroo on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 12:29 am

    visit and you will find out that we only have erections once in every 5 years.

    No wonder Tongkat Ali is doing well in Bolehland.

  5. #5 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 12:48 am

    Smergroo is referring to the interview by a western Caucasian woman who is used to being respected and is capable of holding her own with Zainuddin. In this short but sharp verbal confrontation with the journalist, our Info Minister is shown here as having clearly lost his marbles.

    Judge for yourself.

    Reporter: “OK, so let me return to my former question. Why is this protest illegal?”

    Minister: “YA! It’s a illegal protest because we have the erection in Malaysia. It’s no-no point on having a protest! We are allowing to every erection… every five years never fail! We are not our like, like Myanmar, not like other country. And, and you are helping this. You Al-Jazeera also is helping this, this forces. The, you know, these forces who are not in passion, who don’t believe in democracy!”

    I feel sorry for him because at different points I really think he thought Malaysia is practicing democracy!

  6. #6 by digard on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 1:15 am

    Please, be kind to this chap. Just read in one of the papers he wants to send a ‘warning letter’ to Al-Jazeera.
    I think, he is a tad lost, that’s all. He is so used to subservient behaviour by ‘his’ media, that he simply lacks any experience with journalists not afraid of ISA.

    And what is he going to write anyway? He could only mess things up further. Imagine Al-Jazeera showing a letter of the Malaysian Minister for Information to the world, that threatens Al-Jazeera with I dunno what for reporting not compliant to our minister?
    Read his words carefully, he said ‘you have earlier perception, you come here, you want to project us like undemocratic country’. ‘you come here’, that means ‘you are our guest – now behave !’

    Read a joke somewhere about a teacher asking the pupils about the position of Zainuddin Maidin. ‘He is our Information Mini’. ‘Sorry, what was that? Can you please finish your sentences?’ ‘Yes, Information Mini’. ‘Who told you so?’ ‘Nobody. Whenever he shows on TV, my dad says ‘oh, him again’ and zaps to another channel.’

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 1:42 am

    Whether one calls him Minister of Misinformation and Disinformation, the fact is Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin conceives himself chief public relation minister for the BN government and in that role his main function is to use media, whether local or international, to package and present the most favourable image for the government in relation to the country.

    He has made no bones about it that in a conflict between truth and good image of the government, the latter prevails. This is shown by his briefing of editors on 10th October in which he specifically instructed editors that he was acting under PM’s instructions to convey to the media that the Prime Minister’s repeated pledges to “listen to the truth” did not mean that the media have the green light to “practice unrestrained reporting” of the truth….

    Where he made a mistake in re-broadcasting Al Jazeera in RTM the morning after Bersih March was that he assumed that Al Jazeera being a muslim media opposed to Western style values of demonstrations would not, unlike CNN, report the unvarnished truth but would instead collaborate like RTM to bolster the Islamic government’s image. Where he had made “made a fool of himself” is in the sense of his misjudging Al Jazeera and scolding it for siding Opposition, when evidently there was no agenda for the international media to be partisan especially when it is presently embarked on the trail to enhance its international credibility.

    On the other question whether he is really a fool, one has to judge by the content of what he was trying to say in the interview than how he said it – though how he said it admittedly might embarrass many of us – which was hampered to a large extent by his lack of proficiency in spoken English, which in part was due to him being educated in Malay medium at Maktab Mahmud Alor Star (I think?) up to Form 6.

    So I’ve tried to understand and re-paraphrase what exactly he was trying to say in the interview, discounting the language weakness that might otherwise convey the wrong impression.

    When Al Jazeera asked why were protesters sprayed with chemical laced water, Zam made two points: that street demonstrations were not Malaysian tradition; that chemical laced water was reasonable to break up gathering not tantamount to unreasonable force as would the case of tear gas if it were extensively used.

    Al Jazeera then said its correspondents came back with chemicals in the eyes (suggesting what’s the difference?) and Zam, not answering that, said that it was not right to compare what happened with that which happened in Burma and Pakistan.

    Al Jazeera then responded unfortunately we appeared like Burma & Pakistan when we refused to allow people to protest to which Zam did not respond but kept insisting we’re a democratic country without explaining how in relation to Al Jazeera’s statement.

    Then Al Jazeera took another track and said if Zam claimed we’re a democratic country why did the government not allow demonstration & protest to which Zam replied that we allowed demonstration – what he meant was that the gatherings were allowed here and there up to a point or time permissible from public order point of view but when the police demanded that the time was up and that they should disperse,then they should comply or suffer the consequences (water cannons and chemical spray). Zam added that in any case the Bersih’s representatives were allowed and did achieve their purpose in presenting the memorandum to the King.

    Then Al Jazeera asked why didn’t authorities break up the gatherings more peacefully, Zam said it was illegal assembly (implying how otherwise peacefully could authorities break such an illegal assembly up) – the police had handled the situation as best they could, given the situation.

    Finally, Al Jazeera asked why was the assembly illegal. Zam said there was no reason to protest since unlike Burma we’re a democracy having elections without fail. As parting shot Zam accused Al Jazeera’s portrayal as helping the opposition who were impatient and not democratic in belief.

    So how is his rating as a spin master and how does he compare with (say) the famous or infamous Iraqi Information Minister of Saddam Hussein Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf? :)

  8. #8 by darthikea on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 2:07 am

    Lim peh, I have watched the cross words between you and that Zam ministry and I myself know and read your blog and knew that he actually make a fool out of himself by presenting people’s comment instead of of your content.

    With such ministry as the Ministry of Information I now have a very x100 serious doubt on his capabilities. I don’t have to read much about his defense because just by observing such simple thing which he really can’t present the facts well, I already knew what type of people he is. Hiding behind the bush and using irrelevant stuffs against others hoping those who is not well informed will believe him.

    Shame we have such ministry. I really think our country need more educated, for example a ministry of XXX should be an expert in XXX and not in YYY as happened in our country. Compared it with our neighbor and you shall understand what I am talking about.

  9. #9 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 3:05 am

    Interesting write-up on your part, Jeffrey.

    To your question as to how he compares to Saddam’s disgraced Information Minister, my reply is “birds of the same feather” but this one “has less feathers” since obviously he’s unaccustomed to being talked to by a woman in the manner this one did to him. Under unrelenting pressure by this female journalist this guy quickly went off tangent and lapsed into incoherences confusing ‘election’ with ‘erection’ etc.

    By the way, the religiously schooled among the Malays in Alor Setar went to Maktab Mahmud. They were more conversant in Arabic and Malay rather than English. It is surprising that this guy made it anywhere at all. The premier school in Kedah is SAHC the alma mater of UMNO leaders like Tunku Abdul Rahman, Mahathir, Daim, Megat Junid, Tajuddin Ramli – just to name a few of that generation.

    Hearing him on the video, I truly feel sorry for this guy. I really do.

  10. #10 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 3:08 am

    ..and Maktab Mahmud has no Sixth Form. From there they would go to Cairo, Egypt – University of Al-Azhar I think.

  11. #11 by chisinau on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 5:32 am

    At least he could some past tensed. How can this fellow go GLOKAL? Maybe, the best he could get is a job with the London Circus with a nickname ZAM ZAM Poo Poo.

  12. #12 by EcSTaTiC on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 5:58 am

    Al-Jazeera conspired with the oppositions? Gosh he really must be stupid to come up with that theory of his. Did he really think the oppositions have the power to conspire with Al-Jazeera? And what would Al-Jazeera gain from conspiring with the oppositions anyway? He just made a fool out of himself on global TV by accusing Al-Jazeera conspiring with the oppositions despite his lack of proficiency in English. Instead of clearing up the matter with the world, he just made it more confusing and misleading. Regarding the permit for the rally, I don’t think they would ever issue any permit to the oppositions either.

  13. #13 by sotong on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 6:18 am

    A strong environment of fear gave the politicians, including religious leaders, total power and control over the ordinary people.

    Take away or minimise the fear, you take away their power and control over the ordinary people.

  14. #14 by DarkHorse on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 6:26 am

    Sorry sotong! But why are you always talking to yourself? Say something nasty like limkamput! But then I suspect you’re a nice bloke unlike the scumbag who obviously likes to call other commentators names.

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 8:19 am

    “…//…I understand that the name calling truly does fit to Zam. But it should be used by anyone else other than you. You also have a reputation as a professional politician to protect…// – bra888’s posting of November 14th, 2007 at 00: 21.24 above

    Generally it is true that civilized and rational debate eschews name-calling, very clear examples of which are calling the other side “bodoh”, “gila” “moron” (lose wires in the head), “pondan” etc. Such name-calling is meant to hurt. It’s ad hominem and contributes no logical value to the debate; it explains nothing about why the other side is wrong.

    When Kit called him ‘Minister of Disinformation’ it is, to an extent, a kind of name calling but the difference is that it is not meant to hurt personally.

    It is more a pun, a play on words, adding a “dis” to “information” that viola ends in a diametrically opposite meaning. But it is not really personal : it’s backed up by facts that the Minister of Information, paid by public funds, instead of giving accurate information to the public had given a spin instead therefore making the description Minister of Information as in giving accurate information something of a misnomer!

    Yes of course there is an element of ridicule but such is acceptable if not desired in political exchanges esp. in parliament intended to elicit a laugh at opponent’s expense for his untenable behaviour or position rather than character assassination of one’s opponent per se.

    Kit is too much an old hand in the game and has more intelligence than to fall for the latter game.

    Parliament is supposed to a place where public and rakyat interest is served in adversarial debate, a very much part of which is also verbal warfare using language to demystify the opposite side’s position. There is always a place for witty, imaginative and clever insult based on valid grounds which is very different from just crass name callings like “bodoh”, “gila” “moron” (lose wires in the head), “pondan” without basis.

    Our quality of parliamentarians is poorer not because they often insult one another in debate but because they cannot insult enough in a tasteful, refined, witty and intelligent maner based on facts and logic.

    The best they could do is “bochor” or some reference to “tunnel” in relation to AirAsia’s stewardesses’ uniform which sexual innuendoes are more a reflection of their repressed sexuality than witty intelligence!

  16. #16 by stk on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 8:19 am

    Dear YB,
    I think if we keep quiet and let those idiots open its mouth,the more they speak,the more stupid they becomes ,and also most people I met also agrees with that.

  17. #17 by oknyua on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 9:28 am

    I woke this morning suddenly realising I need a job. Can I work with you Info. Minister? My resume?

    “Malaysia has proudly sent its astronaut into space. Our space programme is the latest, compared to the Americans that can only show rusted and twisted space craft abandoned in the Nevada desert. The Russian space programme still survive but relies heavily on fees collected from space tourists. Malaysian is always the best.”

    That’s not a spin, but can I get the job? YB Lim, please recommend lah.

  18. #18 by sotong on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 9:39 am


    The British and American like quick battle and claim victory…..French is the opposite, taking their time and are prepared for the long battle.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat.

  19. #19 by Godfather on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 9:43 am

    Mamak Maideen is a disgrace to all Malaysians judging by the interview will Al Jazzera in broken English. This is broadcast around the world, and these guys still don’t get it. They only care about their reputation in the kampungs and for this, they use the typical misinformation tool of all tyrants – control of the mainstream press. How long can this go on ?

  20. #20 by Godfather on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 9:59 am


    How about publishing what the financial markets think of Bolehland ?

    Asia’s Richard Branson Exposes Tiger’s Blemishes: William Pesek

    By William Pesek

    Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) — Those wondering where Malaysia is headed should keep an eye on Tony Fernandes.

    Perhaps no one personifies the promise of Asia’s 10th- biggest economy better than the 43-year-old entrepreneur. In 2001, he created a budget airline, beating the odds in a place dominated by government-linked companies that tend to abhor competition. AirAsia Bhd. has been turning heads ever since.

    It was another airline magnate, Aristotle Onassis, who said the key to succeeding in business is knowing something others don’t. Fernandes knew that not only were Asians ready for no- frills carriers, but so were investors.

    Fernandes is often called Southeast Asia’s answer to Richard Branson. It seems highly appropriate, then, that the two men teamed to launch AirAsia X Sdn., a long-haul budget carrier that this month made its maiden flight. Branson’s Virgin Group Ltd. is among its key backers.

    For all his success, Fernandes also is a microcosm of why Malaysia’s economy isn’t on the upward trajectory it could be.

    Politicians’ efforts over the years to protect the turf of Malaysia Airline System Bhd. backfired, leaving Kuala Lumpur lagging behind in the race for Asia’s travel hub. Malaysia has effectively tied one hand behind its back to help out national champions at the expense of the bigger picture.

    “I’m asking this for national interest, not MAS’s interest or anything else,” says Fernandes of his battle to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. “The consumers have suffered enough.”

    Tenuous Place

    Politicians continue to dither over another national champion: state-controlled carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd. While talks on an alliance with Volkswagen AG are progressing, the saga is a reminder that Malaysia’s leaders are wasting time the nation doesn’t have.

    In Proton’s case, the exercise is about finding a partner to help revive sales and return the 24-year-old company to profit. Yet this, like Fernandes’s fight to expand his innovative airline, is emblematic of how politicians often don’t grasp that Malaysia’s place in Asia is rather tenuous.

    Again, Malaysia is a remarkable place with incredible potential. Its economy has achieved great things in the 50 years since independence from Britain. Twenty-five years ago, this was a tropical backwater. Today, Malaysia’s modern, skyscraper-filled capital is home to the world’s second-tallest buildings, the twin Petronas Towers.

    The Next 50

    The world also has lots riding on Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim nation with a uniquely multi-ethnic economy. It’s a place where micro-miniskirts comfortably exist next to women in headscarves.

    Yet the next 50 years will arguably be even harder than the last. It wasn’t one of the original Asian tigers, yet Malaysia became one over the years. Now, amid Asia’s boom, the economy has its fair share of blemishes with which to grapple.

    “The world is moving ahead at a rapid pace, and it won’t wait for Malaysia,” says Razlan Mohamed, chief executive of Malaysian Rating Corp. The nation “needs to work harder and work faster,” he added.

    Chrisanne Chin, finance faculty head at MIMS Business School, Malaysian Institute of Management & INTI University College, puts it this way: “It’s not so much what Malaysia is lacking, but that China, India, Vietnam and even Thailand and Indonesia have improved so much that they are very capable of leapfrogging Malaysia in a short span of another five years because of specific comparative advantages, from low costs to human capital to technology.”


    Human capital is a particular concern. The government needs to do more to train the leaders of tomorrow and import the talent that companies require to thrive. It also has to win more of the foreign direct investment flowing elsewhere in Asia.

    There’s much backslapping about how the $147 billion economy may expand 6 percent this year and 6.5 percent in 2008. The real picture can be found in the World Economic Forum’s latest competitiveness survey, in which Malaysia slipped two spots to 21st place.

    A huge obstacle for Malaysia is something that can barely be discussed: a 37-year-old affirmative-action program favoring the predominant Malay community. It alienates non-Malays, limits foreign investment, stifles competition and keeps the economy from moving toward a meritocracy. Yet it’s a third-rail issue. Most Malaysians won’t even discuss it without first looking around to see who is listening.

    Where To?

    A sense of political drift doesn’t help. Four years in office, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has spent more time trying to solidify the influence of his political party — the United Malays National Organization — than bringing Malaysia’s economy to the next level.

    Investors and businesspeople complain that Abdullah, who, oddly, also serves as finance minister, hasn’t attacked subsidies on products such as oil, or tackled corruption as he had promised.

    For a glimpse of the future, one could do worse than ask Ramon Navaratnam, president of anti-corruption group Transparency International Malaysia and author of the 2006 book “Where to, Malaysia?”

    “The future is bright, but only if we are honest with ourselves that we have a lot of very difficult work to do,” Navaratnam says. “Otherwise, we will see the rest of Asia pulling ahead and Malaysia walking in place.”

    (William Pesek is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

  21. #21 by Filibuster on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 12:35 pm


    I don’t think he cares – he said after all that he was not a WOG – Western Oriented Gentlemen. :) (refer to Youtube of debate between him and YB Lim on the Freedom of Press index issue)

  22. #22 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 12:55 pm

    I just listened to Zam’s interview with ALJAzeera on You-Tube.

    Hello Zam, I am sorry to say you won’t be able to make the grade to any Form 5 class on English Oral? Mind starting in Remove Class?

    But first things first, please REMOVE yourself from the Kitchen Cabinet. You are a bloomin’ disgrace to Malaysia! I don’t know where to hide my face if I were you. Imagine, can’t even speak one (and I repeat ONE simple sentence correctly!) on an INTERNATIONAL TV. Hello, this is not RTM alright where u can speak any rubbish you like. Surely you don’t want to continue as Minister of Information or Misinformation after this? If you can’t communicate properly, in all probability, you are indeed a Minister of Misinformation already. So YB LKS is right. May I add, your standard of English is no better than Mohd Taib’s (that MalaysianTyson), if that…that….that… is some stuttering comfort to you.

  23. #23 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 12:59 pm

    “Chrisanne Chin, finance faculty head at MIMS Business School, Malaysian Institute of Management & INTI University College, puts it this way: “It’s not so much what Malaysia is lacking, but that China, India, Vietnam and even Thailand and Indonesia have improved so much that they are very capable of leapfrogging Malaysia in a short span of another five years because of specific comparative advantages, from low costs to human capital to technology.”

    Depending on what economic yardstick u use, Malaysia is already behind most of these countries. Don’t be an ignoramus and compare Malaysia with India & China. It’s a different league altogether!

  24. #24 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 1:14 pm

    Monkeys demand fair treatment
    (LiveScience) Like children who cry “no fair,” monkeys are miffed when their companions get better treats.

    Jeanna Bryner
    LiveScience Staff Writer
    Tue Nov 13, 8:00 AM ET

    Like children who complain “no fair,” capuchin monkeys throw fits when their companions get better treats.


    In a new study, envy reared its ugly head if capuchins, primates like us, landed slices of cucumber while their cage mates received tasty grapes—considered more desirable.

    The recognition of an unfair situation could be critical for maintaining relationships in cooperative societies such as those of capuchins, as well as among humans, the researchers said. The study also suggests the roots of human fairness stretch well back in evolutionary time.

    “In a cooperative species, being able to distinguish when one is being treated inequitably is very useful for determining whether or not to continue cooperating with a partner,” said psychologist Sarah Brosnan at Georgia State University.

    Monkey madness

    Brosnan, along with lead author Megan van Wolkenten and Frans B. M. de Waal, both at Emory University in Georgia, trained 13 tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) at Emory’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center to play a no-fair game. In the game, each of a pair of monkeys would hand a small granite rock to a human in exchange for a reward, either a cucumber slice or the more preferable grape.

    When both monkeys received cucumber rewards, all was fine in primate land. But when one monkey handed over the granite stone and landed a grape, while monkey number two got a cucumber, madness ensued.

    “They would literally take the cucumber from me and then drop it on the ground or throw it on the ground, or when I offered it to them they would simply turn around and refuse to accept it,” Brosnan told LiveScience.

    Further experiments ruled out greed or frustration as forces driving the capuchin monkeys to react negatively to a cucumber reward.

    Primate sense of fairness

    The results have implications for the evolution of fairness in humans, the authors write this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Capuchins are considered New World monkeys and so they are more distantly related to humans than chimpanzees. By studying fairness in primates from different evolutionary spots on the tree of life, Brosnan hopes to tease out where certain features of this trait showed up and whether humans’ sense of fairness is unique to us.

    The latest findings suggest that a sense of fairness is deeply ingrained in human evolutionary history rather than the idea that it’s a more cultural response, and thus, learned from other humans.

    “This work resonates with a lot of people, because I think all of us have had those experiences where something seems good enough until we found out that someone had a higher salary or a better start-up package,” Brosnan said.

    The researchers noted one difference, however, between the human and capuchin senses of fairness: While humans regard fairness as equal treatment of themselves and others, the capuchin monkeys only care about number one.

    “The capuchins’ sense of inequity seems to be very one-sided. It’s all about whether or not ‘I’ got treated unfairly,” Brosnan said. “That certainly implies that this stage evolved first and that may be where humans have taken the extra step and become more focused on both sides of the equation.”

  25. #25 by messy on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 4:15 pm

    zam never fails to amuse us doesn’t he?
    from a monkey to mis-information minister…

    new evolution baby!!!!

  26. #26 by messy on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 4:17 pm

    mis-information minister can i have a look on your SPM cert?
    i really want to know what you got for 1119

  27. #27 by on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 10:48 pm

    Well, if the choice is between:

    A) Opposition conspiring with overseas media on “misinformation”, vs.

    B) BN conspiring with RTM on “misinformation”,

    I think the choice is rather obvious to me.

    There is simply no doubt whatsoever in my mind that what I read from the mainstream press, and what I see on TV is simply rubbish and propoganda by the ruling party to steer and control my mind to continue favouring the ruling party.

    And, so, as a result of the ruling party’s behaviour, I have decided to make it a personal hobby of mine to inform my family, relatives, friends, colleagues, and everyone I touch to show them how mainstream press don’t show the real information. E.g. the recent BERSIH rally was excellent opportunity presented by the ruling government where no press dared to publish the rally on front page on that Sunday, as well as how no press dared to publish pictures of the rally. Instead, what we’ve got is simply pictures of traffic jams … !

    Old Observer.

  28. #28 by on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 - 10:55 pm

    Another soon to be favorite hobby is to show how mainstream press decides what topic should be deemed to be “Front page news” …

    E.g on Sunday just after the rally, the Star decided that Front Page news must not be BERSIH rally! Instead, it must be something which the government is working hard at to win votes, like looking into fuel subsidies to continue despite rise in oil prices, or the like …

    Now, imagine that! 40,000-50,000 people marching and being mistreated by police and FRU to petition to the Agong takes a backseat, to something the government should be doing daily anyway …

    Isn’t looking at proposals a routine job by the ruling government? If it is routine, why put it on front page?

    Such a stark contrast.

    Old Observer.

  29. #29 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 15 November 2007 - 12:52 am

    “Mis-information minister can i have a look on your SPM cert?
    i really want to know what you got for 1119”

    What do you mean SPM??

    During his time there was no SPM. It was either a GCE “O” Level pass or MCE for those who failed their English. If he failed his English paper, we do not have to look at his other ‘passes’.

  30. #30 by Beh dah-han on Thursday, 15 November 2007 - 3:22 am

    What a shame that we have a minister who speaks broken English on international TV. We do not have any reason to deny that Malaysia has fallen completely out of the list of the world’s Top 200 Universities .
    Our govt use to criticise the Western media especially CNN and BBC of being biased and unfair in their correspondence regarding Malaysia. They turn to Al Jazeera’s reports and love their news during the war in Iraq. RTM keep on repeating videos about the suffering of the people of Iraq and Palestine under the persecution of Americans and Jews. Later on permit Al Jazeera to set up a base in Malaysia. But now what happen? I believe Al Jazeera has done a good job without favour to any party but just reporting the truth only. Why didn’t our Minister of Misinformation tell the truth of why was the assembly illegal? We know why but we just want to hear the truth from you.

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