Monday, August 13, 2007

Father of Malaysian monkeys

(Siamang, the Malay gibbon, the biggest primate in Peninsula Malaysia).

According to fellow bloggers, deputy UMNO Youth leader and Malaysia's most glamorous son-in-law has submitted a list of bloggers, 50 of them, to the UMNO headquarters or precisely to its Cyber Troopers for obvious reasons. It is some sort of a war declaration and the Cyber Troopers, no less than mercenaries of UMNO, are battle-ready for the undeclared cyber war.

I do not know whether to be proud, happy or otherwise when my name was said to be included in the list. I was placed together with Malaysia's top and popular bloggers such as Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Ahiruddin Atan, Jeff Ooi, Lim Kit Siang, Nat Tan, Zahrin Yassin, Noraina A Samad, Marina Mahathir to name a few. That is definitely an honour. About the list, well... I do not give a damn!

Malaysian bloggers were described as 'monkeys' by the son-in-law and "goblok" , an Indonesian word meaning very stupid, by the ex-Utusan Melayu journalist turned politician and is enjoying the perks as Information Minister. This particular minister once said that he was not interested in politics ..... , Let it be, let it be ...

In Malaysia, there are a number of monkeys and apes. The biggest ape is known as Orang Utan or Man of the Forest that can be found only in Sarawak and Sabah, not in Peninsula Malaysia or formerly Malaya. In the Peninsula, the largest ape is the Siamang or Malay Gibbon (pix above) and the smallest is the long tailed macaque or kera (in some states it is monyet).

Apart from Siamang, another big ape is called ungka or gibbon, slightly smaller than the Siamang. In the east coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, the pig-tailed macaque or beruk in Malay, is trained to climb and pluck coconuts. In Kuala Selangor, the lutong or silver-leaf monkey can be easily spotted at the Malawati fort.

The question is - which one is the Malaysian blogger?

One thing is certain, the Siamang, can be referred to as Father of Peninsula Malaysia Monkeys. In fact, in one state on the west coast, the legend of Dato' Siamang Gagap or the stammering Malay Gibbon is well known. A road in the state capital is named after the Siamang.

The personality that branded Malaysian bloggers as "monkeys" is from Negri Sembilan and, what a coincidence, the legend of Siamang Gagap is also from Negri Sembilan, so is the road that honours the Siamang. The pot is calling the kettle black!

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