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MORE macam-macam ada. This time it’s about copying. Yes, we all copy. The less we know, the more we copy.
Back in the 1950s and 60s in my riverside village in Kedah, we knew very little about America. Our contemporary knowledge of America was represented by the cowboy movies we saw at the cinemas and funfairs.
So every other young man in our village dressed in the yankee pants and danced to the tune of Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock at the funfairs. Of course we all did the twist and the limbo rock. I did mine later at the Tropicana Night Club in Jalan Ipoh.
And every other “modern” woman in the village had their hair curled to look Scarlett O’hara in Gone With The Wind, prompting the Pas-leaning Tok Guru of the nearby pondok to declare hair perming haram.
|Scarlett O'hara - Gone With The Wind|
The Tok Guru thought Arabic songs were “quranic”. Had he known that they were laden with love, passion and longing for the human form, he would have banned them for good.
So we copied. The Japanese copied car making from the Europeans. They copied so well that in time their cars were better than European and American cars. The Americans made their atomic bombs by kidnapping the German scientists.
Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak might not have copied 1Malaysia from anybody, not the least from Israel. APCO Worldwide, the foreign communication and public affairs consulting firm engaged by the Malaysian government, said so. They said they had nothing to do with 1Malaysia.
The Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was not totally off the track. There was indeed a One Israel. In Hebrew it was called Yisrael Ahat. As it is Arabic, Ahad stands for one. So hari Ahad is day number one of the week.
|Photo...The Star 27 Dec 2010.|
One Israel was an alliance of the Labour Party, the Meimad Party and the Gesher Party, which was created to run for the 1999 Israeli parliamentary election.
Did Barrack Obama also copied when he proclaimed: “Yes, we can”? This is because the unofficial motto of the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia is Bez Buldırabız! or We Can!, which is nearly identical to our “Malaysia Boleh.”
So who copied? Well, the answer is we all copied. The less original a person, the more he or she copies. That’s why we have such a thing as copyright.
My cynical, funny friend from Langkawi, Mansor Mat Saman, who once taught journalism at the USM in Penang and published his first book – an erotica – when in form three at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star told me that originally it was alright to copy provided you copied correctly.
Thus the Torah was copied in the right manner, then the Bible and after that the Quran. He said to stop these good books from being wrongly copied, “copy right” was made mandatory. But today, copyright means you can’t copy, even if you copy correctly. You can do that only with permission.
Of course this does not stop China from becoming the world capital for copyright infringements. They copied so well that their fakes look very original so much so that even the Mat Salleh who originated today’s version of copyright bought them with relish when they visited Batu Feringgi and Petaling Street.
Now more and more people are copying the Prime Minister’s 1Malaysia logo – some to curry favour with him and other to add flavour to their products. When you are powerful or influence, everybody wants to follow you or, at the very least, to show he or she is in sync with you.
So when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as the Prime Minister, authored the “Perjuang Belum Selesai” poem, everybody recited it afterward. Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi thought he too had to have a poem. So he commissioned “Damai Abadi”. Maybe a literary laureate should pen one for Mohd Najib!
Why not embrace 1Malaysia or, at the very least, use the eye-catching 1Malaysia logo to claim that you are number one coffee in China and number one paint in Malaysia. When you are not yet number one paint in Malaysia, you can claim that you are number one in Japan.
And why not 1Malaysia logo when you can fool people into thinking that you an outlet of Seven Eleven while at the same time making it difficult for the genuine Seven Eleven to sue you for trademark infringement. Brilliant!
I remember when Dr Mahathir introduced Look East Policy in 1982, a local distributor of a Japanese motorcar brand had a slogan that said something to the effect “Look East, buy our (Japanese) cars”.
The Pakatan Rakyat should not lose sleep over the 1Malaysia logo being used in Selangor. I don’t. Compared to the younger PR VIPs, I have heard a lot more slogans and saw a lot more logos, and I never lose sleep.
Be creative. Use 1Malaysia logo for your own campaign. I am sure that not everybody in PR is a talker and a pontificator. There must be some who can come up with an original idea to embrace 1Malaysia to the advantage of the alliance.
Be like Borat. He was not ashamed when he proclaimed; “ This is Natalya. She is my sister. She is number-four prostitute in whole of Kazakhstan.”
So why not proclaim: “PR, the number one opposition alliance in Malaysia”? Habis cerita. The end of the story and we can then live happily ever after.
But as a taxpayer, I share the PR’s concern about the true identity of Apco Worldwide, the taxpayers’ money being expanded on this American-based company and the usefulness of its services. It's the question of accountability.