Politicians have a knack for gaffes.
From US President Joe Biden’s faux pas to British PM Rishi Sunak’s indiscretion, the list of verbal misdeeds is long indeed.
For instance, Biden once referred to his vice-president Kamala Harris as “Camel”.
While Ms Camel … pardon me … Ms Harris may have forgiven her boss for the blunder, the Brits were less forgiving of Mr Sunak for boasting about his “whole range of bread” while Britain was experiencing its sharpest drop in the standard of living since the 1950s.
Malaysia too has her share of politicians who say the wrong things.
Gaffes come in many forms … from thoughtless and foolish to insolence and impudence.
Kedah mentri besar Sanusi Nor had one last Wednesday, and it wasn’t his first.
This time, he suggested that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission take over the management of the Kedah Darul Aman Football Club and pay the players’ salaries.
He was commenting on the graft busters’ probe into a RM6 million graft case allegedly involving the Kedah Football Association (KFA).
What a childish response.
But then again, Sanusi is president of the KFA and he probably didn’t take it well.
That was not his first, though.
In August 2021, when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its height, Sanusi told a press conference that there were enough funeral containers to go around and those who wanted could place orders by giving their names.
The statement he made was in response to questions on the high number of Covid-19 fatalities in the state. He later apologised for the remark.
Also on Wednesday, Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung suggested that those who have been saved from the clutches of human trafficking syndicates be barred from travelling abroad.
He said this was to prevent them from falling victim to the traffickers again.
It’s a case of punishing the victims and letting the perpetrators go free.
But they are not the only Malaysian who’s who to have uttered the wrong words at the wrong time.
In 1991, former finance minister Daim Zainuddin made a remark to the effect that the stock market would crash. It did the following day.
Of course gaffes are not confined to the realm of political misfire.
The regular Joe is equally prone to similar slips of the tongue. However, remarks by nobodies like you and I probably do no harm beyond our personal circles.
For everyone, including politicians, such slip-ups may not entirely be the fault of the mind.
But for those whose every word can move markets, cause anxiety, invite ridicule and, who knows, may even start a war, caution is advised.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.