KUALA LUMPUR – There is nothing wrong with local celebrities commenting on current affairs, but celebrities in other countries do work for years in issues they are passionate about instead of merely tweeting once or twice, a minister said today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan also pointed out that many local celebrities have been criticised by the Opposition and the internet just for taking a photograph with the prime minister.
“It’s not wrong for celebrities to comment about our current affairs. But just like everyone else, be prepared to be criticised. Politics ain’t one way street,” Abdul Rahman said in a series of tweets.
“After all, in other countries, celebrities, comedians and even porn stars have a say about issues affecting their nations. Some even decided to become full time politicians.
“But these celebrities have a track record of involving themselves, for years, in issues they are passionate about. They attend and organise talks, participate in discussions etc. They rarely tweet one or two times and expect people to understand their motives,” he added.
In a tweet last Tuesday, jazz singer Sheila Majid complained about the high cost of living, the weak ringgit, expensive food and scarce jobs.
“Msians are becoming tired & angry for being squeezed over debts we did not create.Stop making excuses & looking for faults.Focus on the job of getting our country back on track! Disappointing!!” she wrote on Twitter.
Umno politicians have criticised Sheila for her remarks.
Abdul Rahman, who is Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary, said he was a “big fan” of Sheila and that he could listen to her views since he could “tolerate inane ramblings by the Opposition”.
“But I do hope she can engage her critics and articulate further the reasons why she said what she said,” he tweeted.
The minister, who is in charge of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), invited Sheila and other celebrities to the EPU for a briefing on the current state of Malaysia’s economy.
“Maybe Persatuan Seniman can organise the visit and I will be delighted to be the host.
“In the mean time, do visit Expo NegaraKu, organised by EPU, currently being held in Dataran Merdeka for a highly interactive exhibition of the things the government has done to make Malaysia a better place including policies to make cost of living more bearable,” he wrote on Twitter.
– Malay Mail