AUG 3 — Rumours have been rife and everyone in Malaysia has been trying to predict when the prime minister is going to call for elections.
It seems to many that the longer they wait, the more incidents are going to happen to jeopardise their chances of doing well in the elections.
Take this month of August, for instance. What has been happening in this month alone, and from just one government ministry, is enough to be a case study.
It all started when Rais Yatim’s Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture announced the National Day celebration campaign.
The fact that Malaysia needs a campaign and theme is already sad enough, but when the National Day slogan was revealed, all hell broke loose.
“Janji Ditepati” stank of political campaigning on the ruling party’s side but, of course, Rais had to defend it.
“When we’ve done something good, it means we’ve fulfilled our commitment, we’ve done it, so it’s not wrong to say so,” is what he was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times.
My favourite reaction amongst Malaysian is the online hashtag of #JanjDicapati, and in particular, when the faux Samy Vellu Twitter account posted: “Wife complains I never do any work so I promised to cook dinner. She was surprised when I cooked capati and kept my promise. Janji Dicapati.”
Then, Rais and his ministry went on to the second stage of the campaign by launching the National Day “Janji Ditepati” logo and even more hell broke loose.
The logo, if you haven’t seen it already, looks like a kindergarten child was given 10 boxes of crayons and one large piece of white mahjong paper.
It looked horrible! In fact, that kindergarten child with the 10 boxes of crayons and white mahjong paper would have probably done better.
And again, Malaysians reacted. My favourite is when a design company, Empayar Kukubesi, launched a logo designing competition of its own.
Already, they have received more than 400 entries and the winning designs will then be turned into T-shirts and sold to the public.
Rais and his ministry eventually had to release a statement saying that the logo was actually an additional display material and not the official one.
And then, Rais and his ministry unveiled the “Janji Ditepati” theme song, and immediately, Malaysians found another song that is strikingly similar. There’s just not enough of hell to break loose anymore.
“Serukan Namanya” by the Indonesian Christian band True Worshippers is the said song, and now the composer of “Janji Ditepati”, Jasnie Mohd Yaakub, is denying plagiarism.
The uploaded clip of the song on YouTube has already garnered over 300,000 views with more than 32,000 dislikes.
Now, Rais is demanding that people respect National Day. He said that the government has already decided to continue with the “Janji Ditepati” theme.
“In the end, the government of the day decides the theme,” he is quoted as saying in The Sun newspaper.
Now talk about respecting National Day!
Oh dear prime minister, can you please dissolve Parliament soon and let’s just have the 13th general election already? I can’t wait to vote.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.