Does the current ruling party fear being laughed out of government at the next general election? That would make us the pioneers of a ‘Laughing Revolution’, says Fool’s Paradise.
In attempting to squelch the public’s enjoyment of a good laugh by trying to prevent the launch of Malaysiakini cartoonist Zunar’s latest ‘laugh’ publication ‘Cartoon-o-phobia’, the powers-that-be have only made themselves the national joke of the year (The Star, 25 September 2010).
They are the first to aptly personify the the cartoonist’s definition of “cartoon-o-phobia” i.e. ‘individuals or parties who are afraid of cartoons and use political power to act against cartoonists’ – Zunar (Malaysiakini, 24 September 2010).
Blogs and other online portals are abuzz with this latest joke, which has overflowed into the conversations of the non-online public via the mainstream media as well. ‘Orang ramai’ are left wondering exactly what the IGP is up to. With so much unsolved and ongoing crime, is squelching a good laugh – albeit at the expense of public political figures who should know that they are fair game anyway – so important?
The cops seem to have forgotten exactly what their role is, in doing the bidding of the ‘godfathers’ or ‘godmothers’ (to be politically correct and minding gender equality). This touchiness looks so petty in comparison with what political leaders in other countries face on a daily basis. Just take a peek into serious magazines like The Economist, Newseek or Time, to name the widely known current affairs magazines where caricatures and cartoons of political figures are regularly published, making funny but sharp comment.
Are these cartoonists or caricaturists arrested and interrogated for poking fun at the likes of Tony Blair? No! It’s a waste of public money and the security enforcers’ time when they should be seeing to public safety instead. Most of these apparently politically mature leaders find the humour to laugh at themselves. Some even join in, acknowledging that they are merely human beings who do make mistakes.
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Perhaps, Malaysian leaders should learn a thing or two from American and British politicians about how to take a joke; it would be fair educational exchange for ‘teaching’ them to deal with ‘Islamophobia’ even if we haven’t managed to figure out our own situation yet.
Instead of stifling the giggles and guffaws, sending in the ‘clowns’ to catch the ‘fool’ has caused the laughter to crescendo. And the jester is made an undoubtedly brave celebrity, who vows to continue fooling around for our amusement and entertainment.
The applause is thunderous! So, who will slink away with egg on their faces and tails between their legs? The jester has not bowed out nor has the fat lady sung her finale. The drama continues. How will it end? Does the current ruling party fear being laughed out of government at the next general election? Then, we would be pioneers of a ‘laughing revolution’. If only change could be brought about so easily, that would be a dream come true. The next episode is eargerly awaited!!