Not The New Straits Times

March 1 - 15, 2000

Published twice monthly


UFO lands in Kelantan

Melaka sacks Opposition supporters

Anwar assault trial postponed

Pinochet sends greetings

Crime on the rise

Minister claims RMAF is crap

Chinese soaps 'a bad influence'

FEATURE: The Knowledge Economy

Mahahtir wants 'brain gain'

National media system mooted

Eliminate the 'secrecy syndrome', says PM

Minister makes quantum leap into IT

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Minister: RMAF pilots are crap

Deputy Finance Minister Shafie Mohamad Salleh told parliament this month that the government spent RM40.37 million on an executive jet for its leaders because of the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) poor safety record. He said the purchase was made following the frequent accidents involving air force planes previously used for official trips, adding that the airforce had lost 29 pilots in the last 10 years through accidents.
An F-14 pilot expresses disagreement with the government's
evaluation of the RMAF's flying skills

When asked to confirm the statement, a Ministry official who refused to be named clarified his Minister's position. "Basically, our pilots are crap! Their planes are falling down the sky like rain! These guys couldn't fly a kite!"

A leading political leader who refused to be named supported the Ministry's move. "You know, they don't even serve caviar or champagne on those RMAF flights! How are we expected to enjoy our junkets, ooops, I mean, execute our governmental duties abroad under such miserable, unsafe conditions?"

In a related development, an RMAF pilot who refused to be named was detained by police when he threatened to take off on his F-14 Hornet and bomb the Putrajaya government administration complex with air-to-surface missiles. "So these guys think we can't fly?! So they think we have too many accidents, eh?!" he shouted as he was led away to a nearby mental institution. "Well, put me on an F14 loaded with Exocet missiles and I'll show them what a real accident is!"

Chinese and Indian TV dramas: Foreign tools to re-colonise our country?
Chinese soaps 'a bad influence'

Satellite television station Astro came under fire this month for broadcasting foreign programmes, especially Cantonese-language soap operas, that cultural experts and moral guardians regard as "undermining the nation-building process" and "a bad foreign influence".

A moral guardian who refused to be named said that television stations must only broadcast "the dull, stupid, puerile crap" that we produce locally. "Otherwise, Malaysians will never fully appreciate the traditional hallmarks of the local TV scene - abysmal quality, terrible acting, weak storylines and lame dialogue. We must safeguard these noble local values."

He added that he would not be surprised if foreign Chinese and Indian dramas were merely "foreign tools to re-colonise our country."

A TV3 official who refused to be named agreed with statements that Malaysian Chinese watching foreign Cantonese programmes would not want to master the national language. "These foreign programmes will have a detrimental effect on patriotism and are a bad influence on our local culture," he said. He added that TV3 will now replace all its Cantonese programmes with more patriotic American soap operas, American sit-coms, American game shows and additional re-runs of 'Baywatch'.

The move has raised some concern from local Chinese drama fans. "We can accept the government needs to detain people without trial under the ISA. We can accept people sometimes need to be beaten up in prison while under police detention. We can accept that demonstrators must always be violently dispersed with batons and water cannon. We can accept that politicians sometimes need to steal public funds to save their ailing companies."

"But taking away our soaps?! That is an oppressive abuse of human rights, a grave travesty of justice and a mockery of our democracy.