Last Tuesday (Dec 5), national treasure jazz singer Sheila Majid posted a tweet that echoed many Malaysians’ struggle had received a lot of backlashes from the politicians although the post was very much favoured by Malaysians with over 27,000 retweets and 16,00 likes at the time of writing.
The singer vented out her frustration to the government about the rising cost of living and lack of jobs in Malaysia.
Very quickly, government officials had come forward to put Sheila down:
1. Rosmah Mansor’s aide, Rizal Mansor
“Yes, you are a national jazz queen and considered a legend by fans, but how could they afford to buy the concert tickets priced up to RM888 if the country’s economy is really so bad.
“Can your fans who are most probably in the middle-age group afford to buy such expensive concert tickets if it is true that they have been struggling for the past few months,” said Rizal Mansor, an aide to the prime minister’s wife.
2. Umno information chief, Annuar Musa
“This is not her expertise. If she wants to talk about the high cost of living, a rubber tapper can do that too.”
3. Pro-government television personality, Azwan Ali
“When people respect her, she goes and makes a comment like that, that’s committing suicide.”
“You are supposed to be a big star, if you succeed, if you have a datukship, wealth, millions of fans, isn’t that due to the government? Go to hell!”
4. A leader of Umno’s Puteri (young women) wing, Ms. Khaidhirah Abu Zahar
“There’s no need to meddle in government affairs. If she really wants to talk about the struggles of the people, then go on the ground like Puteri Umno. If she just wants to simply type words using her smartphone, then there’s no need.”
Seeing the intense attack by the politicians, more celebrities have come forward to defend Sheila by claiming that celebrities are taxpayers, too!
i. Award-winning actress and singer, Adibah Noor
“When the artistes speak up, they will use the same ‘template’ to hentam (bash) them repeatedly,” Adibah said in a tweet.
She added that artistes speaking up doesn’t mean “pro-opposition” or trying to seek cheap publicity, and authorities should stop accusing them of speaking without having the requisite expertise.
“It is as though ‘artistes’ have no right to say anything.”
ii. ‘Sepet’ actress, Sharifah Amani
“This whole ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’ thing has to stop, lah. We are tax paying citizens. We have our rights.
“We should be able to speak and stand up for our beloved country, regardless of what we do. #KamiAnakMalaysia,” Sharifah tweeted.
iii. Television personality and emcee, Daphne Iking
“Sheila has every right to speak her mind, as you have your right to cast that vote.
“If you are happy or unhappy with the current administration, make that vote count,” the actress used Twitter to defend Sheila as well.
The trend of celebrities taking tweeter to speak out came after popular actress Nur Fathia Latiff used the platform to question Putrajaya’s decision to pursue former prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad over Bank Negara’s forex scandal that happened 30 years ago.
Do you like the trend of celebrities voicing out on political matters? In the United States, president Donald Trump was mocked and criticized by many celebrities almost on a daily basis. From Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson to cosmologist genius Stephen Hawking, they take beyond Twitter to make a stance against the government on a variety of issues.
Tell us your thoughts about the trend in the comments below.