KUALA LUMPUR — Minister for Information, Communications, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim today stated that he is deeply offended by the jokes circulating about his age and announced that he will be taking legal action against the internet for what he termed as ‘a concerted effort to humiliate a young-at-heart person like me’.
It all started with a sincere advise from a well-meaning, concerned leader. But now, it has spawned a malicious and personal internet campaign that would shame anyone. And being at the receiving end of the humiliating treatment, Rais is not planning to take it lying down.
Weeks ago, Rais gave Malaysian internet users a sound advice. He said that Malaysians, especially Muslims, must avoid being totally immersed in the internet culture, especially Facebook and Twitter, adding that facilities like the internet could not be accepted wholly because it was a form of business introduced by the West and “Malaysians were just users.”
“We are not saying that they cannot use Facebook or Twitter but when using such facilities they must upkeep the values taught by Islam, Buddhism or Christianity to maintain our culture,” he told reporters after opening a Seminar on the 1Malaysia concept in Seremban.
Unfortunately, however, his sincere caution was received poorly by internet-using Malaysians, who started a Twitter and online campaign called ‘Yorais’, modelled from the ‘Yo Mama’ jokes. They began a barrage of Yorais jokes, which poked fun at his not-so-young outlook on life.
“I’ll have you all know that I’m not that old,” said Rais, thumping his chest. “I am a lot younger than many of these people think. Fine, I’ve lived through two world wars, but who hasn’t?
“They are falsely saying that I predate dinosaurs and the Jurassic era. Obviously they exaggerated. I mean, a major meteor deep impact event wiped out the dinosaurs. Now, if the dinosaurs were killed by the impact and ensuing global winter, and if I were around back then, wouldn’t I have been killed too? Use your logic!” said the minister, agitated.
“Those irresponsible Twitter people have no evidence to support what they said in that malicious campaign designed to discredit me,” he continued. “To say that I’m so old that I knew Burger King when he was still a prince? Where’s the proof? Did they get Burger King to sign a statutory declaration? Of course not! If they did, I haven’t seen it yet.”
“I’m very upset. I see this as an attack on my personal being. It’s not my fault I’m not as young as they’d like me to be. I can’t help it if at the time I was born, Australia was still part of the main Asian continent land mass. All I know is that I am still very much relevant to every Malaysian, being still young and hip,” he stressed. “Such lies! Don’t believe the online people! Online people are liars!
“That is why I will take action to protect my fellow Malaysians against the scourge of the internet. This… internet fellow — and its evil agents like Facebook and Twitter — are the West’s weapons to destroy the 1Malaysia harmony we currently enjoy in the country,” he added.
“I have spoken to my lawyers, and we plan to sue the internet, Facebook and Twitter for a grand total of RM100 million. Yes, yes. That will teach the internet a lesson. This will bury the internet. Yes.
“And it wouldn’t matter if the lawsuit goes on and on for many years. I’m still young.”