Unintentional Humor in Malaysia

Malaysia’s outgoing Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, caused a furor last week with his “Jews rule the world” speech to an Islamic conference, which we reported on here. Subsequently the newspapers reported that Mohamad complained that his words were incompletely reported and taken out of context; today Reuters, describing the Prime Minister as “unrepentant,” headlines: “Malaysian premier says Jews control the world.”
Were the subject matter not so tragic, Mohamad’s comments, in an interview with the Bangkpk Post, would be funny. He says the international outcry over his speech last week proves he was right: “The reaction of the world shows that they control the world.” Mohamad denies that he was rebuked for his comments by President Bush, as reported: “Certainly, he did not rebuke me. All he said was that ‘I regret today to have to use strong words against you.’ After that we were walking practically hand-in-hand.”
And Mohamad complains that news accounts of his speech “just picked up one sentence,” while ignoring his condemnation of all violence and his call on Muslims to heed the Koran. Asked by the interviewer why he thought that happened, Mohamad replied: “Well, many newspapers are owned by Jews. They only see that angle and they have a powerful influence over the thinking of many people. Only their side of the picture is given now.”
It must be tough to be so misunderstood.


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