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The Samad Brothers

By U-En Ng (Sketchwriter,Malay Mail)

"...Khalid Abdul Samad (Pas-Shah Alam) looks nothing like him. Shahrir, of average height, prefers simple suits which he often leaves unbuttoned. He has a tendency to stoop and seems constantly to overwork himself—his Ministry is not the easiest portfolio—and one occasionally passes him in the Lobby with the impression that he hasn't slept since March.

Khalid on the other hand is almost disturbingly tall, has the confident stride of a rugby player and the easy smile of a double-O agent. He cuts a dashing figure in his black waistcoat, but sometimes spoils the effect with the Bluetooth gadget that until recently appeared welded permanently to his ear.

His words, like his brother's, are taken seriously by the House, though he does enjoy baiting some of the more hot-tempered Members on the other side—whereas his brother always does his best to take even the most idiotic question seriously.

When in a more sombre mood, however, Khalid is, like Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit (BN-Mambong), one of the few backbenchers who appear to recognise that the world does not always revolve around Malaysia.

"Do we not see that the problem of terrorism is the result of a loss of confidence in international institutions that should rightly act as mechanisms by which conflicts are resolved fairly?" he asked Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim (BN-Jelebu) yesterday.

"Consider, for example, the United Nations in its (hitherto unsuccessful) attempts to resolve the conflict in Palestine, [and] the UN's sanction for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan: Shouldn't the Malaysian government advocate a position such that these international institutions are no longer influenced by Great Powers and their particular agendas?"

[*Video courtesy of MPPAS]

This was a fair question—and one that has been made several times in different ways by different people in the past. Rais' answer, however, was to spout a Malay proverb:

"*Apabila marah dengan nyamuk, kelambu tidak harus dibakar* (literally: When irritated by mosquitoes, don't burn the mosquito net). If someone is nasty towards a global or legislative institution, the best redress is to use one's own imaginative creativity and united action. For that reason, extra-judicial actions will certainly not succeed in the long-term."

There was no proof, he added, that institutional failure had resulted in the terrorism (such as the recent attacks in Mumbai) of today.

Rais had FAILED to follow Khalid's reasoning: What was the function of international arbitration if the organisations responsible for it were subject to the interests of particular world powers? Could such conditions fuel the same resentment that now motivates acts of terror?

Perhaps, to a terrorist, flying aeroplanes into buildings and attacking hotels constituted exactly the "*daya cipta pemikiran"* (imaginative creativity) that Rais urged us all to trust..."

Get The Malay Mail (5/12/2008) for the rest of the news.
-Pejabat YB Khalid Samad-


Anonymous said…
I agree with you that international terrorism is the result of a loss of confidence in international institutions that should rightly act as mechanisms by which conflicts are resolved fairly. Rais Yatim's reply might have been from a macro point of view, though he should have made a specific reference to international terrorism.

I am inclined to believe that most act of terrorism in this world are not due to religion, but more due to political oppression by the west, who historically has divided and dominated the world for a long time to their own advantage. Palestine, Kashmir and Afghanistan are glaring examples. Coincidentally these people are also Muslims, thus the wild accusation that Islam tolerate violence and terrorism.

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