Jul 11, 2011

Zainuddin Maidin - Malaysia's "Baghdad Bob"

As I watched the video and the telephone interview with of Malaysia's  former information minister Zainuddin Maidin concerning the brutal government crackdown of the recent protests in Malaysia for freedom and democratic reform, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Laugh because it reminded me of Iraq's past information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf who came to prominence during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Nicknamed "Baghdad Bob" he is best known for his grandiose and grossly unrealistic propaganda broadcasts prior to and during the war, extolling the invincibility of the Iraqi Army and the permanence of Saddam's rule.

Cry because, like "Baghdad Bob" this man does not have a clue as to how ridiculous he looks and how badly this now reflects on Malaysia. Even when the reporter informs him that the viewers are watching scenes of the violence he continues his bodoh sombong rant claiming that there is no violence and that the Malaysian "people" are laughing at the  foreign journalists and reporters for fabricating their reporting.  Sadly, Mr. Zainuddin Maidin does not live in the real world.

What is going on in Malaysia echoes Plato's allegory - the Myth of the Cave  and perhaps it serves as the perfect metaphor for what is transpiring here - a delusional reality and an ignorance of the truth. 

Like Baghdad Bob, Zainuddin's announcements were intended for an domestic audience that for years has been enslaved and subjected to a cult of personality who's brutal repression of the opposition, government media control and fabrication of the truth has been the only reality that many Malaysians have known and have become accustomed to.  Malaysian's don't want to overthrow Malaysia, they want what anyone wants, and that is the light of freedom and the rights that any democratic society should have.  It is the Malaysian government who  quite clearly cares more about retaining power than the well-being of their own citizens.

Enjoy this classic comedic gold from "Baghdad Bob"

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