Umno veteran Rais Yatim has a bit of advice for bloggers -- to look into their heart to see if it is clean.
"If it is not, then don't bash others in your blogs," he said in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
What an advice!
Now, I don't know how this issue came about. Perhaps a reporter had asked him with leading questions, and he responded that way.
Then again, Rais could have just, at the spur of the moment, felt the need to speak up against those evil Malaysians AKA bloggers.
His remarks were made on the premise that bloggers in general "indulge in an unhealthy culture of bashing others, including government leaders, through their blogsites."
This is, of course, in itself, misleading, unfair and very sweeping.
Bash, criticise, attack, blast. Some gentler than others, some harsher than others. Some, of course, baseless, some with documented evidence.
The truth is that there are bloggers who criticise government leaders who deserved to be criticised.
But, really, is it wrong to criticise government leaders whose job it is to serve the rakyat, especially tax-paying rakyat, if we feel that they have not performed?
Are government leaders beyond reproach?
Are they so arrogant that we cannot point out where they have gone wrong?
We praise them if they have done well, don't we?
I am not disappointed with Rais because I think he speaks his mind and I believe his remarks were made from the heart.
A hint of ignorance and naivete there (on the subject of bloggers), I suspect.
I also believe that he has not read enough blogs to know that there are bloggers who have the interest of the country at heart.
Here's the Bernama story.
KUALA LUMPUR Feb 19 (Bernama) -- Bloggers should evaluate themselves before indulging in an unhealthy culture of bashing others, including government leaders, through their blogsites, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said.
He said although government bashing in then again,he blogsites was among the challenges faced by the Barisan Nasional (BN) in facing the general election, it was not the nature of BN leaders to resort to using blogsites to attack others in their campaigns to win the elections.
"They (bloggers) condemn the prime minister, ministers and other members of the administration but not themselves. As the Malay adage goes, it's pointing the forefinger to the front and thumb to your chest.
"I am saying that you should look at your own heart to see if it is clean. If it is not, then don't bash others in your blogs," he said after launching a book and compact disc, "Aku Dia dan Lagu-Lagu Nostalgia", by Yusnor Ef at Aswara (National Arts, Culture and Heritage Academy) here today.
"Nowadays, not only the bloggers are having a mental block (disturbed) but the PAS' spiritual leader's mind too is blocked (unstable) when he equated Umno members to orang utan.
"The bloggers are getting bolder, but I see it this way -- the general election is the season for condemning or "killing" others with words but this is not BN culture. I suggest that they attend courses on good manners as good manners is Malaysian culture."
On another matter, Rais said a RM1.5 million scholarship fund would be established soon to assist those interested to seriously pursue music studies. He said the country needed more people to be highly qualified in the field, hence the introduction of the scholarship scheme.
Aswara, Istana Budaya and the Culture, Arts and Heritage Department would draw up the scholarship programme for the public to apply, he said.