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Nasir Safar – Sound bite reporting February 6, 2010

Posted by Wilz in Politics.
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My summary of the whole Nasir Safar affair:

  • Newspaper: “Someone said he said some serious shit! Let’s publicly crucify him!”
  • Malaysian Public: “YEAH!!!”
  • Me: “Wut?”

Yeah.

  1. No I’m not trying to defend Nasir Safar.
  2. Yes what he said taken by itself is heinous.
  3. Yes what he said even if given a context is still likely unacceptable.
  4. Yeah resignation is probably the right way to go.
  5. Regardless of intent, that kind of statement basically ends any public career. Sure.

But my first reaction upon reading the news about what he said was, what was he talking about at the time? “Nobody’s that stupid…” That racist, maybe. That stupid to say those things in public in a derogatory way? I don’t think so. Which makes “slip of tongue” or “stupid, ill-advised joke” pretty likely.

What I really want to know is why he used those two sentences in a talk supposedly promoting racial harmony. None of the articles (or blog entries) I’ve read about the whole deal gives any context at all to what he was saying at the time. Unfortunately this issue is SO sensitive nobody dares to even provide the context in which his alleged racist remarks were presented, in case they are deemed as attempting to defend him.

It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth that so many people are condemning, hating and recommending ISA usage on him, when I can’t find ANY context to what he was saying. Doesn’t ‘intent’ matter at all? One needs to have experience having one’s statements taken out of context to appreciate how $!@# it can be I guess.

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1. Tim - February 6, 2010

He was talking about why the Indians should not plead that the number of SPM subjects for them be increased to 12 (as has been done for the Chinese and Malays)

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/123498
http://www.twitlonger.com/show/6iq7b

There is really no doubt how he said it – bear in mind that it wasn’t the typical opposition pandering, but it was MIC and MCA reps that walked out in protest and lodged the reports. 60-70 of them according to Mkini, which is enough to stand in any court.

As far as not knowing exactly what he said, the speech itself was probably not important enough to be recorded.

I couldn’t believe it either last year when a govt rep went to meet Indian students overseas and said stuff like this:
http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2007/05/05/pm-reprimand-and-discipline-jj-for-racist-remarks-against-malaysian-indians-in-california/

But it did happen

2. Wilz - February 6, 2010

This would be one of those cases where given context, it’s even worse than is reported, though I would not immediately trust the veracity of a ‘little Twitter bird’.

My only issue with the whole thing is an issue of REPORTING – i.e. no context. See – if they had given that context in the story I would’ve been pissed, and rightfully so. I don’t like being annoyed at not being able to figure out if I’m pissed or not.

Get me?

I don’t think the issue was whether it was recorded. What we have here is more likely a case where most of the reports weren’t written by people who were actually present and listening to the story. Wouldn’t be hard to have context if the reporters had actually been present. Second hand reporting is not hard to detect.

Maybe the Malaysiakini report is first hand, but I wouldn’t know. No subscription.

3. Tim - February 7, 2010

“According to a source who attended the meeting, Nasir Safar had ruffled feathers when he labelled the Indians and Chinese in this country as ‘pendatang’ or immigrants.

“He was saying that the Indians and Chinese came here as immigrants and are now enjoying life in this country.

“He also remarked that the Chinese, especially the women, come here to ‘jual tubuh’ (flesh trade),” added the source who requested anonymity.

He claimed that Nasir also credited Umno for being solely responsible in drafting the constitution, “sidelining the contribution of the other parties in the Alliance back then.”

‘Revoke their citizenship’

Apart from this, the source said the officer also threatened to ‘revoke’ the citizenship of those who were vocal about the subject cap for the SPM examination.

“He was telling us of how he visited several MIC branches to explain the government’s stand on this issue and expressed regret that the branches remained steadfast in their call for the cap to be scrapped. He accused them of making an ‘extreme’ demand.”

“He said, ‘How can they talk so much about the Tamil language when Bahasa Melayu is the official language. If they continue to make such demands, we could revoke their citizenship’.”

“Who is he to revoke their citizenship?” asked the irate source.

Following this, he said “some 60 to 70” MIC and MCA members as well as the NGO reps present decided to leave the room.

“The organisers tried to coax us to stay but we were too upset,” he said, adding that the seminar was organised by Jasa, the Information Ministry’s special affairs division.

Meanwhile, the source said MIC Youth is expected to file a police report on the incident.”

4. Wilz - February 7, 2010

Mkini for best reporting!


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