Najib should invite Teresa Kok to screen her 11-minute video “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014” and give proper translation of the Cantonese-Mandarin dialogue and background at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow

Another UMNO Minister has jumped into the fray over DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok’s 11-minute video “Onderful Malaysia CNY 2014”, another UMNO leader to make a fool of himself as if he understands Cantonese and Mandarin, the languages used in the video dialogue.

He is none other than the Minister for Communications and Multimedia Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, who weighed in on the subject today, denouncing Teresa’s satirical Chinese New Year video “unbecoming of a leader” and deploying a string of derogatory ephithets for the video: “annoying”, “more nauseating”, “more disgusting”.

How does Ahmad Shabery know? Has he suddenly understood Mandarin and Cantonese, or was it based on hearsay, and biased and prejudiced hearsay by MCA or Gerakan leaders?

The first UMNO leader who tried to get political mileage from Teresa’s video is the Minister for Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal who accused Teresa’s video of lampooning the Malaysian security forces and the Lahad Datuk intrusion tragedy which saw the loss of lives among soliders and policemen.

Shafie succeeded in getting the police to swing into immediate action within hours with the Police Internal Security and Public Order director Datuk Seri Salleh Mat Rashid declaring that Teresa’s video clip would be investigated for sedition and defamation.

In actual fact, Teresa’s video did not lampoon the security forces as it did not make any mention of the security forces or the Lahad Datuk incursion tragedy.

This is a simple, open-and-shut case.

This is why I invited Shafie yesterday to a public get-together with Teresa and he could come with his experts and advisers so that his team could publicly point out where the security forces or the Lahad Datu intrusion tragedy had been the subject of ridicule by the video satire.

I am not surprised that Shafie has kept his silence because he had been caught red-handed making a fool of himself saying something he knows nothing about – unless he knows Mandarin and Cantonese to understand the video dialogue, which would make him even more culpable as deliberately telling a lie.

At present, we can only say that Shafie was foolish enough to be misled and misinformed about something he does not know as to make baseless allegations about Teresa’s video.

Who had misinformed Shafie? Was it MCA or Gerakan leaders in the BN? Is he prepared to reveal their identities.

Now another UMNO Minister, Ahmad Shabery has jumped into the morass with his eyes closed – as he could not have understood Mandarin or Cantonese.

Before more UMNO Ministers make fools of themselves, I seriously suggest that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should invite Teresa Kok to screen her 11-minute video “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014” and to give proper translation of the Cantonese-Mandarin dialogue and background at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow so that UMNO Ministers will not be so easily misled whether by MCA or Gerakan on the issue.

May be Parliament when it reconvenes on March 10 next month should have a full screening of Teresa’s 11-minute video “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014” with Teresa providing the correct translation of the Chinese-Mandarin dialogue and background.

Teresa should be congratulated instead of being criticized for her creative video which is heading for a million hits on YouTube – getting more hits than the most popular That Effing Show on YouTube, “Let Them Eat Kangkung” which scored 182,634 hits in two weeks as compared to Teresa’s video which received 187,334 hits in six days.

Not everybody like the “Onederful Malaysia” video, which is controversial and which is why it has collected 2,631 likes to 1,619 dislikes on YouTube.

But this does not make it seditious or criminal defamation as to be subject of police investigation.

As Bar Council President Christoper Leong has rightly said in his interview with Free Malaysia Today yesterday, action cannot be taken against Teresa on her Chinese New Year video as it was not seditious.

Leong said there was nothing seditious about the video as far as the law and the Sedition Act is concerned, regardless whether some may find the video entertaining or otherwise.

He pointed out how there were various ways to highlight serious issues or expound issues of concern.

Leong said: “Being grim-faced with frown lines when doing so is one way, but that is not necessarily the only way.

“One may convey concerns or express an opinion on issues through numerous mediums like oratory, debate, written articles, cartoons, theatrical plays, satire and poems.”

As such, it is all about getting a message across in a peaceful way.

Leong said: “There does not appear to be any element of incitement in the video. The fact that some people are taking offence to it and may excite or incite themselves, does not mean that the video and its contents are unlawful.”

He added that in order to move forward, people should not interpret laws to pander to the lowest denominator.

“Education must be the key, not outmoded draconian laws,” said Leong.

Umno Minister should not be guilty of interpreting laws to pander to the lowest denominator.

Clearly, among the first persons that need to be educated about political satires are UMNO Cabinet Ministers like Shafie and Ahmad Shabery.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah