Thanks for the initiative on broadcasting our country's Parliament meetings, we get to see a bigger picture in a Parliamentary debate. In another sense, the rakyat get to witness all kinds of arguments and havoc wreaked amongst the Members of Parliaments (MP).
On May 12, 2008, I witnessed a horrific debate which brought to the usage of acronyms connecting to controversial words 'Khinzir' and 'Babi' (both meaning 'pork' or 'pig' in Malay Language). The meeting, commenced at 10am, began with MP of Rembau Parliamental constituency under National Front (BN) political party (for name sake, let's make it shorter, say, BN-Rembau MP) Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar presenting his maiden speech in Parliament. As soon as he touched on Clause 25 of his speech, he began mentioning "Projek Khinzir Raksasa" (literally means "giant pork project" in Malay language), emphasizing its acronym P-K-R.
At this point, the MP from opposition coalition (namely People's Coalition or Pakatan Rakyat, PR) began to get agitated. We could see PR-DAP, PR-PAS and PR-PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or People's Justice Party) from this video jumped up and argued at Khairy's statement, and further on requested Khairyto retract his statement. To them, tying Projek Khinzir Raksasa to the acronym PKR is definitely an insult to Parti Keadilan Rakyat members. Particularly when "Projek Khinzir Raksasa" could be most possibly referred to the pig-breeding project in Selangor state executed by her current state government (controlled by Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PKR). By the way, the project was, as far as I know, approved by the previous state government (then controlled by BN) [see here].
At some point of havoc, PAS-Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar said, "P-B-N, Projek Babi Negara." It literally means "nation's pork project", but the more impactful term was its acronym to the name, P-B-N. At this point, I could see some PR MP jeered at this term P-B-N. Khairy then repeatedly questioned in a seemingly agitated voice, "Siapa babi negara?"
Well, from Khairy's speech text, it seemed nothing wrong. But come and think about it. He initiated the referral to a pig-breeding project to an acronym synonymous to the acronym of the name of one of the opposition party components. Was it an insult to the opposition using a controversial word? You judge.
When opposition countered with P-B-N, Khairy questioned it. Literally he said (as per the video), "Apa dia... apa dia... Dia sebut babi negara tadi. Saya minta penjelasan... siapa babi negara?" (Pardon... pardon... He said national pork just now. I request clarification... who is national pork?) He sounded as if he was deeply offended. Maybe to Khairy, that term sounded an insult to himself personally - I want to know why. Or, maybe to Khairy, his speech was perfect that no one was allowed to debate it - I REALLY want to know why and based on what reason.
Indeed, when P-B-N was used to refer to "Projek Babi Negara" by an opposition MP, a BN MP will be indirectly insulted. Think about it again. Which MP started with using acronyms to the level of offending other MP? Who stirred up the dirty linen?
Interestingly, Mahfuz only said "P-B-N, Projek Babi Negara". Possibly he was merely referring to the same "Projek Khinzir Raksasa, atau singkatannya P-K-R". One and the same pig-breeding project in Selangor state. Mind you, "P-B-N, Projek Babi Negara" was the only word heard from the video. He did NOT even refer it to any person or any object. He did NOT say "siapa" (who).
Khairy coined the freedom of simply using initials of a phrase as an acronym to any name by saying P-K-R as... enough said. So, it should also be right in the eyes of Khairy to have Mahfuz coin another acronym. What's wrong with that?
Also, what for Khairy gave a speech, offended people like nobody's business, but yet when people counter-attacked his speech in some way he suddenly turned sour? He may be the son-in-law of our Prime Minister, but is he, a BN-Rembau MP, really above all other MP in the Parliament? So 'superior' that he mocked others but does not accept mockery against himself? "Siapa babi negara?"
Khairy might have stolen the limelights of the week, earning himself the MP of the week. Nevertheless, judging from the response in the short 7-minute video, I think Khairy was very successful in instilling deep hatred feelings against himself amongst many Malaysians.
I hope Khairy would not forget his own name - that his first name begins with the letter K. Misuse of acronyms is very dangerous.
DAP - Democratic Action Party
PAS - PArti Islam Se-Malaysia, or Pan Malaysian Islamic Party
Recapping classic words uttered from the mouths of MP in Parliament for the past 2 weeks:
"Itu pun tak cukup bagi satu Kerajaan Negeri yang telah meletakkan keutamaan nombor satu pentadbirannya kelulusan Projek Khinzir Raksasa atau singkatannya P-K-R."
("That is not even sufficient for a State Government that has placed first priority of its administration on the approval of the Giant Pork Project, or in short, P-K-R.")
-- Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, BN-Rembau, 12 May, 2008
"P-B-N, Projek Babi Negara."
("P-B-N, Nation's Pork/Pig Project.")
-- Mahfuz Omar, PAS-Pokok Sena, 12 May, 2008
"Siapa babi negara?"
("Who is national pork/pig?")
-- Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, BN-Rembau, 12 May, 2008
"Adakah YB Ipoh Timur (Lim Kit Siang) setuju dengan pepatah Melayu 'siapa makan cili, siapa rasa pedas'?"
("Does YB Ipoh Timur agree with the Malay idiom 'whoever eats chili feels hot' (the person who did wrong feels guilty)?")
-- Nga Kor Ming, DAP-Taiping, 6 May, 2008 [here]