LAST_UPDATEMon, 18 Jun 2018 11am

Jeers At BN Open House: 'Are You Ready' To Forgive?

Psy performing at BN's CNY open house in Penang, moments after Najib was jeered by the crowd for his 'Are you ready for BN?' remark. Pic: Wan Ahmad Shihab/ ABN NewsPsy performing at BN's CNY open house in Penang, moments after Najib was jeered by the crowd for his 'Are you ready for BN?' remark. Pic: Wan Ahmad Shihab/ ABN NewsKUALA LUMPUR: Resilient and composed. Two words that probably best describe Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in facing the 'storm' that swept over him in Penang during the recent Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration.

A quick recap for those who have just crawled out from underneath a rock: on Monday, Najib had attended Barisan Nasional (BN)’s CNY gathering in Penang where Korean pop sensation, Psy, was invited to perform his hit song, Oppa Gangnam Style. In an attempt to reach out to the public, or as some would call it, a public relations fiasco, Najib took to the stage to introduce Psy.

While the former’s screams of "Are you ready for Psy?" garnered a loud “Yes” from the crowd, his cries of "Are you ready for BN?" brought out some equally loud “Nos”.

Unfazed, Najib went on to welcome Psy onto the stage, without so much as skipping a beat.

While the video of this incident has gone viral, with the public showing no mercy in their comments and 'attacks' made towards Najib on social networks, it is only fair for us to see the whole incident from another angle.

As a Prime Minister in a nation undergoing political turmoil, accepting hatred and criticism is part and parcel of being a leader. It was apparent that Najib was unperturbed throughout the “Nos” and stood his ground, knowing full well he was in an Opposition-led state and that he should be prepared for any form of response from the crowd.

In a way, this could be BN's gauge of what the sentiments on the ground are about their coalition. DAP had wrestled Penang away from BN in the 2008 general election and tensions are running high as the next GE approaches.

BN's move to invite Psy, regardless of not having spent the rakyat's money on the megastar, may be construed as a desperate attempt to win the hearts of Penang voters. However, that aside, it must not be forgotten that it was still a BN event.

Perhaps what is more embarassing than Najib suffering jeers to his “Are you ready for BN?” remark is those who yelled “No” to his remark and later uploaded the video in hopes to humiliate the premier.

Whatever happened to our eastern values? No matter what our feelings are for him, however intense one's hatred towards Najib may be, he is still Malaysia's elected rep and some measure of respect must be accorded to him.

If you hate Barisan Nasional or if you hate the Prime Minister, show it in your votes. Attending a BN open house, indulging in the food they served, enjoying the entertainment they provided, and later being proud of humiliating the organiser of the event, is just in bad taste.

We are Malaysians, we pride ourselves in being courteous and polite. We jump at surveys that show our people are rude and insist that we are not. But when it comes to politics, coupled with technology and connectivity, we have somehow managed to put aside our culture and upbringing and resort to being discourteous.

Undoubtedly, Najib's PR team should have known better than to put the Prime Minister in the spot like that in an Opposition-led state. However, what's more noticeable is how quickly we jump at the slightest chance to humiliate the person holding the post of Prime Minister in our country.

As this comes with the latest incident of a man flipping an angry finger at our very own Raja Permaisuri Agong, it is sad to note that we are no longer upholding the values we claim to possess.

Hatred and political differences have caused us to digress as human beings. It is a sad day when we become proud of humiliating someone in their 'own home.'

- mD


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