Saturday, 29 September 2007

Book Review: Malaysian Politicians Say The Darndest Things (Amir Muhammad)

I've got a ton of books to read, and the Hopefully-Weekly-Book-Review should be Happily-Weekly for the next few weekends, I suppose, unless something crops up and I don't have time to read, or I'm too damn lazy (far more likely, I should say)

Anyway, I've already finished Temaraire, but I'll wait till I've finished the other books from Naomi Novik's series before I review them, and I'm also halfway through Pratchett's Making Money.

For now though, a nice, simple review for a nice, simple-to-read book. And a Malaysian book, at that!


Title: Malaysian Politicians Say The Darndest Things
Author: Amir Muhammad
Illustration: Shahril Nizam

The species called the Malaysian politician often gets in the news, but sometimes not for the right reasons. Malaysians Politicians Say The Darndest Things is a collection of over 100 quotes that span almost three decades. There are things that make yo go hmmm, things that make you go gaga, and things that give a refreshingly pithy introduction to several issues of their time. It is a jaunty stroll through contemporary Malaysian culture, society and (of course) politics). We are sure there is more to come, which is why this is only Vol 1.

What I Liked:
  • Funny!
  • Easy to read, very fast finish wan!
  • the illustrations by Shahril Nizam are really good and apt too.
  • A real eye-opener to what dumbasses some of the quoted persons can be
  • I especially enjoyed the ones I remembered hearing before
  • You do tend to get a little pissed off at the stupidity of the people quoted here. And that's a good thing.

What I Didn't Like:
  • I kinda expected more from Good Ol' Samy.
  • Where's the Bloggers are Monyet quote???
  • Somehow, I got the impression that certain quotes seem to have been included not for their humour but for other reasons altogether (go figure).

I knew I wanted to get this book the minute I heard about it. This is such a good idea for a book that I'm surprised no one ever thought of it before. However, I only found it yesterday in MPH 1 Utama after looking for it for a week now, and happily, I finished it within the night, in between reading Making Money.

Anyway, this book here is an entertaining read, for several reasons. One, it's funny. Some of the quotes compiled here are real Classic Malaysian Politician Quotes, some funny, and many which are really WTF-inducing. And yes, it gets you thinking about the state of affairs in our politics, especially when many of the quotes seem to have been senselessly uttered without any thought of what it might mean.

This is also a book that also covers a bit of the Malaysian political history - somewhat educational, if I must say. Though at some points, I must say that certain quotes seemed to have been included mostly to reflect a certain political opinion more than for the actual humour of the quote.

But of course, with a book like this, that kind of thing has to be inevitable. After all, most of the quotes WOULD be from the ruling party, wouldn't they, since the opposition seldom gets any media?

All in all, this is an entertaining book, a nice light read, and full of funny, WTF and barf-inducing moments (Samy's poem, especially). It was well worth the RM30 I paid for it at MPH, and I'm looking forward to the second volume (which shouldn't be too hard to compile, I should think. heh.)

BTW, Amir, if you're reading this, here's a suggestion: Why don't you try including some quotes from certain socio-political blogs as well? Some of THEIR rants are quite funny as well... heh heh. Lalala....

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