30 September 2010
Tifatul Sembiring -- The Minister for Stupidity & Nonsense...
Now, AIDS for just about everyone else stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. But, for @tifsembiring it stands for, in Indonesian, Akibat Itunya Ditaruh Sembarangan, which in English means in essence "caused by the reckless putting of one's penis" presumably into places where penis' should not be.
This sort of reminds me of a time way back when, perhaps in the mid to late 1980s, a time when I was just a youngster, and when AIDS was still very much considered "a gay disease". The "joke" then was Anally Injected Death Sentence which was neither funny nor representative of what sort of tragedy was to unfold on a much broader scale, and a tragedy that continues to unfold on a large scale even today in places like Africa.
TitS tweet is offensive, but then it is hardly surprising as he is an offensive man. He is very much a sufferer of PKS or Perennial Klown Syndrome. But, when it is all said and done, his tweet proves that old cliche, "if you have nothing positive to say then perhaps it is better not to say anything at all." Or that other classic, "it is better to be thought of as a fool for five minutes rather than open your mouth and confirm it for a lifetime."
It is pretty sad that the Minister for Communication and Information knows diddly about both the primary elements of his brief. If he was in command of the elements then he would have known that there was no other possible outcome from putting a tweet out there like this than bad.
The Minister needs to exhibit a little class, and show a little remorse for making a joke of, and mocking those that are suffering with HIV / AIDS. Perhaps he could impose some community service hours on himself and go and work at a HIV / AIDS charity doing good work in Indonesia. I would highly recommend Yayasan Spiritia, they are doing good work. Perhaps, the Minister would learn a thing or two about some of the challenges that people living with HIV / AIDS face every single day in Indonesia, like struggling to be able to get a regular supply of affordable medications or simple discrimination.
The real question is whether the Minister has the testicular fortitude to man-up and admit that his joke was not a joke but rather it was nothing more than a chance for him to offend and pretend that it was all fun and games. My guess is the Minister will not be able to escape from his Perennial Klown Syndrome woes and try and redeem himself on Twitter while holding out hope that others will come to his rescue with piss poor support like, "lighten-up it was just a joke".
As I said, and many others will continue to say, there is nothing funny about HIV / AIDS.
The support for TitS can be found in some of the comments in response to the article at The Jakarta Post. It would seem that the claim is that the offending tweet is part of a much longer logical sequence that makes the tweet less offensive. The tweet is not TitS' personal belief but rather just a comment on, and relaying of, something said by a former Health Minister of Indonesia (Professor Sujudi).
However, it probably is worth pointing out that the series of tweets, to which the supportive commenter refers to, has a very distinct homophobic viewpoint suggesting that HIV /AIDS is a "gay" disease and represents God's choice of raining down destruction and death on those that practice "deviant" behaviours. The postscript was added about 40 minutes after the original post.
Disclaimer: Oh, and if anyone picked up on the PKS theme relating to the TitS...no offense is intended to any other organisation or group that uses the same letters to represent themselves. If you look at the accompanying photo you can see that the Minister has in fact got the "Krusty the Klown" (from "the Simpsons") thing happening.