Tuesday 2 August 2011

Pakatan wants heads to roll over 8TV Ramadan advertisement

August 02, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Pakatan Rakyat has called for 8TV to be taken to task over a Ramadan advertisement which appeared to stereotype the behaviour of the Chinese during the fasting month.

This comes after the Media Prima-run channel pulled out the public service announcement following growing criticism over the clip which depicts a socially-inept “Chinese” girl eating in public and wearing a tank-top when visiting a Ramadan bazaar, which appeared to offend the Muslims around her.

“Someone must take responsibility and resign for insulting Islam and depicting it as an oppressive religion which bullies others,” said PAS central committee member Dzulkefly Ahmad.

The Kuala Selangor MP said the advertisement “overdramatised” scenes from the fasting month as most Muslims “would not care if others eat, drank or smoked in public places.”

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang also criticised the Umno-controlled media group for its “tasteless and highly offensive advertisement,” noting that “if such content was made public on non-government-linked media, it would have resulted in immediate action by the authorities.”

“There must be a proper assumption of responsibility by Media Prima and official action taken by the government,” the Ipoh Timur MP said.

Media Prima chief operating offiver Ahmad Izham Omar had earlier defended the video, calling on the public to “chill” and not overanalyse it.

In the video, the girl, dressed in sleeveless singlet, openly showed her armpits to passers-by while she fiddled with a bunch of bananas. The armpits, however, were digitally obscured.

“Wow, I feel like I’m the centre of attention! I love it! And I love you all!” says the girl in the video.
The advertisement then suggests that she was wearing tight-fitting or revealing clothes during Ramadan, with a message “Do not wear tight and revealing clothes.”

In the next scene, the same girl is seen wearing a baju kurung and is greeted with smiles by the people in the bazaar.

Earlier today, celebrity and singer-songwriter Pete Teo commented on Twitter: “Wanna see a horrible Ramadhan TVC? Yasmin Ahmad where r u? What happened @AhmadIzhamOmar?”

Both Lim and Dzulkefly also noted that this was not the first time Media Prime has released a controversial public service announcement during the fasting month.

Last year, TV3 was forced to withdraw a Hari Raya ad which appeared to depict elements of Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, including a Santa Claus-like figure.

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