Thursday, November 15, 2007

BERSIH: Zam, Is this the Professional Way?

Watch the video below before reading the rest of the transcript with added comments from this blogger.


Transcript of Malaysia's Information Minister's interview with Al Jazeera News on the Bersih Protest. Taken from Kenny Sia : The ZAM Rap. A similar version can be located at nooryahaya....ramblin on

Minister: I commend yo-yo-your journalists trying to project... to exaggerate more than what actually happened. That-that-that-that's it. We are not the-the and I-I congratulate your journalists behaving like an actor, that-that's it...

Reporter: As you say that, sir, we're watching scenes of protesters being sprayed by chemical-filled water!

[Sagaladoola : At this point of time, Aljazeera is playing a real footage of what is transpiring in the rally. What is the logic behind the Aljazeera journalists be accused as actors (as claimed by Minister) when the scene is real ? What sort of logic is Zam using when he said Aljazeera is exaggerating when the footage of the scene with people running about avoiding the gas and water is real?

Minister should answer in a logical manner.

Minister: YA! I am watching! I'm here! You've been trying... trying to do it this - to do this everywhere but in Malaysia people are allowed to, you know? We know our police head our colleague... Police have whatever allowed the procession to go to the Istana Negara, you know? Do police, first police, like, they handle them, they attack them, they... the police don't, don't, don't fire anybody?

[Sagaladoola: Do what, Zam? It is true that this KL BERSIH rally does not suffer from the same fate as the Batu Burok Tragedy , where there are alleged firing that got some of the participants hit by bullets. Perhaps, the only similarity shared is both are organised by BERSIH ! Dear me .. !]

Reporter: Our correspondent came back to the office, sir, with chemicals in his eyes!

Minister:You-you-you-you are here with the idea, you are trying to project, what is your mind! You think that we Pakistan, we are Burma, we are Myanmar. Everything you-you are thinking! WE ARE DIFFERENT! We are totally different!

[Sagaladoola: If you care to notice, in the truncated video from television made into Youtube entry above, Aljazeera reporter did not use those nations as comparison. Why did the minister mention those countries, hmmnn, any idea? What was the minister having in mind? Curious, curious .. you get what I mean? Hahaha.

Oh let me think. Hmmn, ok... Myanmar and Pakistan dispersed their protests (illegal it seems) as well.

Reporter: Well unfortunately when you refuse to let people protest, it does appear so.

Minister: Ya ya we are not like you! You-you have earlier perception, you come here, you want to project us like undemocratic country. This a democratic country!

Reporter: So why can't people protest then, if it's a democratic country?

[Sagaladoola: Simple but Good question !]

Minister: YES, PEOPLE PROTEST! People do-do... of course they protest. We are allowing them protest, and they have demonstrated.

[Sagaladoola: This is a rally for electoral reform, seeking only an audience with the Monarch of the nation, Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, not a demonstration (like what the Minister claimed). Wrong info? Hmmnnn...]

Minister: But we just trying to disperse them, and then later they-they-they don't wanna disperse, but later our police compromise. They have compromised and allowed them to proceed to Istana Negara! Police, our police have succeeded in handling them gently, right?

[Sagaladoola: Oooh, footage of tear gas, chemical-laced water being sprayed and people running around playing on the screen. Hmmn, Zam, is that "gentle handling"? Wow, hmmnn, I do not know what to say. I am shocked. Oh yeah, why can't the police compromise earlier? I mea like not blocking so many roads and using gas and chemical. Saves a lot of taxpayers' money if those are not done you know.]

Minister: Why do you report that? You take the opposition, someone from opposition party you ask him to speak. You don't take from the government, right?

[Sagaladoola: Such a stupid question. Zam, reporting real events are what reporters and news stations do.

Besides that, Zam, as an Information Minister, you are from the government. Aljazeera is obtaining information from you now, the government as you speak. Oh dear me, you didn't realise that? Oh yeah, people OTHER than the government have the right to speak too. In case you do not know, this is what people call Democracy. Zam, I thought you said Malaysia has Democracy? Ok, then let's assume I am in the wrong and you are right. You are the government, I am not. Now everything is ok already? Hah?!]

Reporter: Why did you not break up these protests...

Minister: Pardon? Pardon? Pardon?

Reporter: Why did you not break up these protests more peacefully?

Minister: I can't hear you! I can't hear you!

Reporter: Why did you not break up these protests more peacefully?

Minister: No we-we are! We... this protest is illegal! We don't want..this... the... NORMALLY...

[Sagaladoola: When the reporter asked this question, people are still running around helter skelter in the footage escaping from all those chaos. Otherwise, there are pictures of FRU trucks. I do not know about you, but that sure does not look peaceful to me.]

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

[Sagaladoola: Hahaha, reporter, that is another good question. Gotcha, Zam. Careful, careful, don't contradict yourself in the same interview. Hahaha...]

Minister: YA! It's a illegal protest because we have the election in Malaysia. It's no-no point on having a protest! We are allowing to every election... 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!

[Sagaladoola: Minister, let me help you answer this question. You should say, "the protest is illegal because the police has not granted a permit". Aiyoh, easy answer right? What say you, dear readers? Like that also don't know?

With each mention of Myanmar in the video, the name starts to get into my head. Suddenly, thought of Monks protesting and the the way they were handled run through my head. Scary! Whoops, did I get out of topic? Back to original story.

Reporter: Alright, many thanks for joining us.

Minister: I don't, ya, you, Al-Jazeera, this is, is Al-Jazeera attitude. Right?

[Sagaladoola: Zam, don't you think that was rather inappropriate, considering the fact that you said such a thing in international TV watched by various nations around the world. I wonder how they view Malaysia now after all these.

Zam, are you sure this is the professional way as a Minister to handle such issue? Oh dear, let me find a hole first.]

In my personal opinion, Aljazeera was trying to ask , why is the rally considered illegal when freedom to assemble is listed under Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No human rights is equivalent to absence of democracy (but the Minister said earlier that Malaysia is a democracy). After all, BERSIH rally is also a Civil Rights Movement. Democracy allows civil society to claim their rights for a clean and fair election.

Check out Article 20(1) of the Declaration : Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

Even as I write, Malaysiakini has just published the latest news " Hawker: Police broke my knee during rally ". posted Police beat up innocent bystander at Bersih Rally - Pics & Eyewitness account.

Certainly mind-boggling, Malaysia Gemilang, Malaysia Boleh, Malaysian-Styled Democracy !

Kudos to Aljazeera for maintaining their composure and professionalism.

Other posts on BERSIH rally:
BERSIH: The Yellow Wave (Pics) Part 1
BERSIH: The Yellow Wave (Pics) Part 2
BERSIH: The Yellow Wave (Pics) Part 3
We have to BERSIH-kan Malaysia
The Yellow Wave: How Come Opposition-Led?


Anonymous said...

What? This is our Information Minister? [Ooops .. he is now the Misinformation Minister, to be exact!] This type of quality? This standard of English? This capability of interaction with foreigners? My god ... this is real MALU! AAB does not have better candidate to pick? This man is bringing shame to the country! He is totally incompetent even as an English teacher!! Pak Lah .. you want him to go on and shame Malaysia?

PM said...

If you put a donkey to stand for election in UMNO dominated areas the donkey will win and we will have a donkey for a minister.

So don't expect any good to come out of a donkey.

AK said...

First, his standard of English and his inability to frame his answer is a disgrace to the nation and to the cabinet. It makes the whole world think that the whole cabinet is made up of the same materials. Is it true that he was once a senior journalist? What journal and where? It would be more believable if one said he was a Ketua Kampong somewhere.