KUCHING: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) is appealing to the Iban community to take Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s recent joke – in which he suggested that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak take an Iban wife – as a straightforward one with no cynical connotations.
That remark was made in an atmosphere of the best of moods in the presence of various ethnic races, including many Iban women, the party said.
PBB Supreme Committee member and authorised spokesman Datuk Idris Buang said he had known Adenan for many years and it was known to many that he loved to crack jokes as part of his speech, and he often did it ‘off the cuff’ without any negative intentions.
“We in Parti PBB Sarawak would like to refer to the numerous social media comments with regard to Adenan’s ‘tongue-in-cheek’ joke which he made in a light hearted manner with the prime minister before an equally light hearted audience comprised of all races.
“He merely and plainly jested (not seriously cajoled) Najib ‘to take an Iban wife’ if he were to learn with some fluence the Iban language. He made this plain and clear jest when referring to Najib’s frequent visits to Sarawak announcing many grants for developments, seemingly as an acknowledgement of that fact.
“We are humbly appealing for the invocation of a good sense of humility which the Iban community are renowned for. We hope that they will take it as a straightforward joke and nothing cynical. That remark was made in an atmosphere of the best of moods in presence of various ethnic races including many Iban women,” he said in a press statement.
The call from Persatuan Dayak Sarawak (Pedas) to seek Adenan’s apology for insulting their women folks should not arise at all, he said, adding they should not single out the remarks out of context and viciously angle it as a shot at Adenan.
Pedas should show open-mindedness and be more ‘magnanimous’ instead of trying to throw a damper on the people’s mind and instead indulge in a feeling of displeasure towards something which should not be made an issue, he added.
“We believe Pedas should not be irresponsible in the manner that they did to sensationalise what was meant to be just a joke into a political issue. Are they desperate for issues?” asked Idris.
This news first appeared in the Borneo Post.