30 September 2010

Tifatul Sembiring -- The Minister for Stupidity & Nonsense...

There is nothing funny about HIV / AIDS and there is nothing funny about Tifatul Sembiring (aka TitS). It would seem that TitS via his Twitter account (@tifsembiring) thought that a joke through a play on the letters of AIDS would be something amusing to send to all his Twitter followers.

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.


rima fauzi said...

he disgust me. someone like him shouldn't even be a lurah let alone a minister. things that come out of his mouth remind me of those that come out of our local ustadz when i was a child, which is really all stupid and nonsense.
he thinks he's smart but what he is really is high. high on stupid.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Rima...

It has been a loooonnnngggg time between comments! I am glad that I have finally written something that piqued your interest enough to comment.

Nah, your comments are always worth the wait! "High on stupid"! Unfortunately, those that get high on the wacky weed or narcotics of choice, or even alcohol, come down to earth at some point and resume being relatively regular people.

It just seems to me that TitS' high is like a permanent feature of his existence!

rima fauzi said...

Yeah I havent really been blogwalking or doing anything remotely interesting on the net, my life has just been too hectic the past 6 months that I dont have time for that, which i hate cos i love doing nothing in front of the computer. lol.
yeah this guy just amazes me with his stupidity and everytime he says something i am in awe. in awe of how the hell can someone like this hold an important position in our govt, what was sby thinking????
anyways, did you read news that in public schools in jambi they are trying to pass a law for girls to be tested for their virginity first to be allowed admission?
cool huh?
good thing i am not there, otherwise id be staying home and definitely would not be going anywhere near a school...hehehheehhe

Rob Baiton said...

@ Rima...

But enough time to update fesbuk status kan? :) Which, you should do more regularly with those really funny jokes that you have been posting of late.

Yeah, it makes one wonder how he managed to convince SBY to appoint him in the first place. Yet, the mind boggles as to why SBY keeps him there.

I posted on the Jambi stupidity a couple of days ago. My understanding is that you would not be going to school anyway, because in Jambi there is a belief that married women are way past educating.

I wonder if they are going to test the boys as well? Perhaps the only way the lads can get into school is to prove that they have started "sowing their wild oats".

If one is going to enact a stupid regional regulation like the one suggested for Jambi, then you may as well go full-tilt and enact a whole raft of stupid legislation!

pj said...

If that somnolent lump would ever bestir himself to act this minister would find himself out of a job at the next cabinet shuffle. How long can the country tolerate a minister who makes such stupid comments? (rhetorical question).

Rob Baiton said...

@ PJ...

Rhetorical question means that I do not need to answer it, right? :)

It would seem that his supporters are being encouraged to do just that, support. The argument being that this is a mountain out of a molehill. It was just in jest and all good fun...

Ho hum!

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