MPs slam ad as mocking monarchy

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 17 Nov 2005

A TV commercial depicting a sultan rejecting a gift of rice in favour of a particular brand has irked the House, with MPs saying it was a mockery of the monarchy. 

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry, which found itself in a defensive corner over the issue, apologised for the alleged boo-boo. 

Parliamentary secretary Datuk Rohani Karim said she would bring up the matter to the parties concerned and hoped the screening of the commercial would be stopped. 

The commercial, which was first aired during the Ramadan month, showed a Ruler in all his regal splendour, played by actor Jaafar Onn, receiving gifts at his palace. 

He showed contempt for a gift of one brand of rice but beamed at receiving another.  

The issue surfaced in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday, with Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin (BN – Jerai) criticising national rice corporation Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) over the commercial. 

He said the commercial showed no respect for the monarchy. 

“How can we use Rulers in commercials to sell rice?  

“I hope the commercial will not be aired any more,” he said while debating Budget 2006 at the committee stage for the ministry. 

Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan) said the commercial ridiculed royalty. 

On another issue, Rohani said the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (Mardi) and her ministry welcomed feedback and suggestions on the institute's traditional food development. 

Mardi conducts a lot of research before commercialising its products, she said to complaints that Mardi's food products did not taste like authentic traditional food. 

Rohani said Mardi was always improving its food quality.  

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