Thursday, May 25, 2006

Senators Club - Nothing Better To Do?

What do Senators do? That is the first question that occurred to me when I read a report on how upset a couple of them were, all because of a beer advertisement!

The headline says it all - Kelab Senator kecewa. NST siar iklan bir sebelah gambar PM dan hari ulangtahun UMNO. Doubly distressing to the Senators was the fact that the ad appeared on two occasions, 27th April and 12th May 2006! As a result of this great act of disloyalty they said that the 'Kelab Senator amat kecewa kerana merasa NST langsung tidak sensitif dan pedulikan apa yang diperjuangkan oleh UMNO'. Its Chairman Senator Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said that while he understood that NST has to earn revenue through advertisements 'tetapi wajarkah itu caranya'.

After creating a non-issue the good Senator then goes on to link it to the pride of the Malay race while emotionally referring to UMNO's struggle. Read on - Sewaktu kita meningkatkan semangat bangsa Melayu raikan ulangtahun ke 60 agenda datuk nenek moyang kita lahirkan wadah perjuangan bangsa...disebelah ada iklan bir mengambarkan seolah-olah di Malaysia ni pejuangan yang dibawa oleh UMNO tak langsung diambilkira..itu yang kita persoalkan. (I'm beginning to like this guy. He doesn't make any sense but he sure knows how to tug at the heartstrings).

Not to be outdone by his Pengerusi, the Setiausaha kelab, Senator Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee 'dengan wajah yang marah berkata beliau secara peribadi menuntut NST memohon maaf secara terbuka kepada Perdana Menteri dan UMNO'. Woh! This is one angry man and in that anger he even internationalizes and Islamizes the non-issue! Read on - Ini bukan secara kebetulan, ini menghina pemimpin (Perdana Menteri), pemimpin OIC (Pertubuhan Negara-negara Islam) ..pemimpin sebuah negara islam...patutkah diletak iklan seperti ini! Then he delivers his parting shot - Beliau menegaskan demi untuk kebaikan iklan bir tidak harus dibenarkan disiarkan dalam akhbar.

So the two wise men have spoken. I have a couple of questions though. The NST article is on merely a piece of newsprint paper. If the same page on which the PM's picture or that of UMNO is trampled by a pedestrian will he or she have to apologize? If that very paper is used to wrap meat, halal or non-halal, will the person wrapping it need to say sorry? As ridiculous as that sounds this is exactly what these two Senators are trying to achieve in an indirect manner. Don't elevate the office or person of the PM and the symbol of UMNO to 'sacred' levels, that merely having a beer ad on the next page is tantamount to sacrilege. It is not, and the NST definitely meant no offence to him, to UMNO, to the OIC or to Islam. This is all in your overactive imagination. Don't you all have better things to do than unnecessarily rile up the public?

While on the subject, who are Senators? Briefly they are members of the upper house of Parliament or Dewan Negara who have made valuable contribution to society and have been either appointed by His Majesty the King or indirectly elected by the state assemblies. Some of them are made Senators as a 'backdoor' entry into the Cabinet while others are 'rewarded' for services 'rendered' to the party and nation. Another group it is said are those put to 'pasture' or retired from active office or as the English so eloquently put it, 'kicked upstairs'.

What do Senators do? Apart from rubber-stamping Acts passed by the lower house or Dewan Rakyat I really don't know. But I do know for sure that making a nuisance of themselves by raising non-issues isn't one of their duties.


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3:13 AM GMT+8  

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