The reporter was apparently asking the Ministers comments about gambling policies.
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“Such bullies,” cried netizens in complaint of a viral video that captured Federal Government Ministers and a Member of Parliament (MP) allegedly being rude to journalists during an interview.
At less than a minute long, the clip featured Islamic Affairs Minister and Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) Vice-president Idris Ahmad together with Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Pendang MP Datuk Awang Hashim being queried by Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reporter Minderjeet Kaur, according to the Malay Mail.
During the interview, Awang supposedly patronised the journalist for asking questions in English and said “You ask [the question] in Bahasa Malaysia la, we are Malaysian what? You are Malaysian speak Bahasa la.”
The Minister was quickly confronted by the reporter who said, “I am a Malaysian. Please don’t do that,” and asked the politician to be a little nicer.
In reply, Awang said “You must also ask proper questions, you know. You want me to respect you, you must respect us first. Can you speak in Bahasa? Please speak in Bahasa.”
Undeterred, Minderjeet continued on with her line of questioning directed to Idris, asking for his comments about PAS’s policy towards gambling.
Weirdly enough, Idris took to fire his own questions to the reporter asking, “Would you agree if your husband was a gambling addict. I ask you first. You must first answer my question,” before laughing it off and ending the interview.
Kaki buli. Apa punya Menteri Agama daaaaa. pic.twitter.com/ViYeWj0NFE— PakYob Kayuh (@YobKayuh) November 15, 2021
Naturally, the video drew some criticism from Malaysians online who find the behaviour shown by the two Ministers to be unprofessional.
“Disgracefully rude. We are so stuck in a culture of demanding respect and not giving any in return,” wrote one commenter.
“Pulling out that ‘whataboutism’ because clearly, he can’t answer that question with a solid answer,” insinuated the other.
“Respect needs to be earned, and this is a bullying mentality. No elegance in action and speech. If you do not want to answer in English, just answer the question in Bahasa is okay enough.” said another commenter.
This is unacceptable. It's okay not to answer questions from a journalist, but attacking media personnel is the lowest form of democracy. You, as a policymaker are answerable to media (rakyat). Do better PAS! https://t.co/RWCl0hcYia— Hakim Rahman (@AHakimRahman) November 15, 2021
While some also pointed to the fact that Awang was not wearing his face mask properly during the short interview.
“How can someone who wears a mask like this be a Minister?” noted one observer.
Pakai pelitup macam ini pun boleh jadi menteri Malaysia kah?😩😩😩 pic.twitter.com/ha9J3EK5ay— Billi Bear (@BilliBear3) November 15, 2021
In an article published by Harakahdaily, PAS Youth Information Chief Nadzir Helmi defended the seniors by saying that the reporter had apparently met her match during the interview.
The journalist seemed bewildered because her husband was used as an example, while this is the real fact that gambling has damaged many family institutions.PAS Youth Information Chief Nadzir Helmi via Harakahdaily
Nadzir later went on to describe PAS’s mission to “save” the public from the woes of gambling and that gambling has damaged many family institutions here in Malaysia.
Don’t be provoked by political interests that prey on [our] non-Muslim friends as if gambling is part of their life and culture. Take pity on our friends’ children, wives and husbands, by saving them from wallowing in the excrement that is gambling. This is PAS’s struggle for the people. Bring an end to polemics. We have much bigger tasks to complete in this world and hereafter.PAS Youth Information Chief Nadzir Helmi via Harakahdaily
Typing out trending topics and walking the fine line between deep and dumb.