You cannot say “Bomb” on a plane!

In the film “meet the parents” by Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, Ben Stiller at the last section of the show boarded a plane, and when he tried to put his bag up at the overhead storage area, a straight faced air attendant asked him to check in his bag. Ben stiller didn’t want to, since he has lost his bag in another flight by the same airline.

This is the conversation between him and the air stewardess and her supervisor:

Ben: “It’s not like I have a bomb in here. It’s not like I want to blow up the plane.”………………

The air stewardess called in another more senior supervisor.

Supervisor: “I’ve got a plane full of people saying you threatened that stewardess.”

 Ben: “I was not threatening her. I was trying to get my bag into the overhead storage thing.”

 Supervisor: “You were acting like a maniac, and you threatened her with a bomb!”

 Ben: ” I said I didn’t have a bomb! “

Supervisor: “You said “bomb. You said “bomb” on an airplane.”

 Ben: “What’s wrong with saying “bomb” on an airplane?”

Supervisor: “You can’t say “bomb.” “

Ben: “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb! You gonna arrest me?”

For that he was arrested.

Apparently, even if you say you don’t have a bomb is sensitive enough to make the airport security arrest you..

Of course, this is a comedy, a box office comedy. Those who saw the show laughed and laughed at the stupidity and absurdity of the stewardess and the airport security ( there was no Homeland security yet since the show was produced prior to 911, in year 1999).

Those who see the show may wonder why people can become so sensitive, when obviously there was no such threat.

We may think that such stupid and absurd things happen only in novels and movies.

But in real life, we Malaysians can be that sensitive; so sensitive that we sometimes overstep the line of sanity.

For example, any movies produced in Malaysia that mention communism will be viewed with suspicion. The latest, the “New Village’, was almost banned apparently because a girl depicted in the movie married a leftist. Such is our sensitivity that In a Malaysian movie, no one can supposedly marry or even get associated with a leftist. To do so would be ‘glorifying’ certain ideology.

Nevermind that such shows are supposed to show what happened during that time, and during that time,  such things actually happened.

Nevermind that communism is now dead. Nevermind that the people now view communism as a dead and failed ideology. Nevermind that even the 2 biggest Communist countries, Russia and CHina, are now adopting market economy and tacitly admitting that communism does not work.

Nevermnd that. You just cannot show people marrying communists or get assocaited with communists AT THAT TIME,  just like you cannot say the word ‘bomb’ on a plane.

Just think about those who  make movies about the NAZis. There are many shows showing how Hitler being adored by hundreds of thousands of people on the street.  But that does not mean that the producer is trying to glorify Facism. In fact, most of the movies  which showed Hitler being adored by millions of people are anti-Hitler and most in the end, showed the collapse of the Third Reich, and the West triumphed over NAZI Germany.

These movies merely reflected the true fact that Hitler indeed mesmerised so many of his countrymen INITIALLY.

You just cannot produce a Hitler movie showing that Hitler in the 1930s had no support at all from his people; if you do so, people will wonder how the hack did he ascend to the top of Germany??  How the hack did he conquer most of Europe initially?

I think I have made the point that we Malaysians should be matured enough to differentiate what is in a movie or a video  and what is real life.

I think we Malaysians should not be too overtly sensitive, be it towards ideology or even religious practice.

We are supposed to be a first world country by 2020, a mere 6 plus years away. How are we going to be first world when our mentality is still that of the third world? How are we going to be first world when most time we are still chasing the shadows of our past? How are we going to be First world when we are so sensitive and insecure about certain things and  practices?

We need the government leaders to take the lead to discard these sensitivities in order for us to move forward. But the saddest thing is that the opposite is happening!!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kassim2
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 12:08:55

    guess i cannot ask for roti bom too


  2. Sad malaysian
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 15:32:23

    Dr Hsu, I think Malaysians’ mentality is not that of a 3rd world country, rather, the people [many excluded, including me :-)] has a 4th world mentality – one of its kind in the world! Isn’t that Malaysia Boleh?


  3. Simple Sense
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 12:34:00

    History offer many examples of these. When an organization, big or small, under tremendous stress, it tends to become intolerant to many divergent views. During the Mao, era in communist China, one had to be real careful in saying anything of not saying praise to the party, the person next to you can report this and you get in real shit, even sent to labor camp. There is a correlation between the progressiveness of an organization and its liberalism to freedom of speech and thinking. That is how creative thinking sprouts and lead to invention, breakthroughs, and innovations. That is why China still remains a copy cat of everything and many things.
    Looks around us, stressful people are also those who get upset over little things and tends to look for fight over small things. These are very unhappy people.
    The economical prospects generates tremendous stress!


  4. Phua Kai Lit
    Aug 05, 2013 @ 09:15:32

    Dear Dr Hsu and blog readers,

    I quote from political scientist Robert Rotberg on failed and collapsing Third World states (sounds increasingly like Malaysia, doesn’t it?) :

    “Failed states offer unparalleled economic opportunity—but only for a privileged few. Those around the ruler or the ruling oligarchy grow richer while their less fortunate brethren starve. Immense profits are available from an awareness of regulatory advantages and currency speculation and arbitrage. But the privilege of making real money when everything else is deteriorating is confined to clients of the ruling elite or to especially favored external entrepreneurs. The nation-state’s responsibility to maximize the well-being and personal prosperity of all of its citizens is conspicuously absent, if it ever existed.
    Corruption flourishes in many states, but in failed states it often does so on
    an unusually destructive scale. There is widespread petty or lubricating corruption as a matter of course, but escalating levels of venal corruption mark failed states: kickbacks on anything that can be put out to fake tender (medical supplies, textbooks, bridges, roads, and tourism concessions); unnecessarily wasteful construction projects arranged so as to maximize the rents that they generate; licenses for existing and nonexistent activities; and persistent and generalized extortion. In such situations, corrupt ruling elites mostly invest their gains overseas, not at home, making the economic failure of their states that much more acute. Or they dip directly into the coffers of the shrinking state to pay for external aggressions, lavish residences and palaces, extensive overseas travel, and privileges and perquisites that feed their greed.”


  5. Li Li Fa
    Aug 05, 2013 @ 22:42:22

    It looks like the situation has come into the reality of the story that the emperor is wearing new clothes and the citizens just look and cannot say a word, while the emperor parades infront of his subjects in his ‘new clothes’.



  6. Wave33
    Aug 09, 2013 @ 06:38:24

    It is a real idiocy.

    Communism is long dead. Why is it so sensitive to talk about communism? How many followers will follow communism today?

    These people are really getting agitated over nothing.

    I would strongly suggest it to be a case study on any tertiary education. It is a darn good history lesson and social science.

    They fear idiots will believe in communism. Well they are still a lot of idiots whom would prefer a corrupt regime in Malaysia and will continue to put the corrupt regime into power. Yeah… perhaps, they should worry that they are a lot of idiots in Malaysia. If their idiocy can support a corrupt regime why not communism?

    Hmm.. how did I missed that out. Fascinating indeed…


  7. klm
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 18:33:56

    Why are Malaysians sensitive? I could be wrong, but I cannot help but think that the communal sensitivities have been deliberately heighten by BN, especially the leading party. I have a nasty feeling that party is poking fire to irritate the one community and the non. Now that every body is irritated, it does not take much to kindle the fire.


  8. mycuntree
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 15:50:05

    Many of us, ignoramuses, if I may say so, credited the current hysteria of race and religion, to racial and religious sensitivities. But is that really so? Are the people who actually seem to be pursuing that thought, megalomaniacs of their race and religion? Or so it seems, as many of us supposedly sane Malaysians think that these people are overly sensitive about their race, religion and now even this country’s history as being sacrosanct and nothing that may even spilt a stain of factual dirt on it or that will stain its “supposed purity” as they envision it.

    It is their target audiences; the ignoramuses amongst us, the naive, the stupid, the unthinking, the uninformed and the misinformed, who fall into their traps of race, religion and their historical fictions; who they would like to marshal to their political, social and economic self interest and benefits.

    This is a game that has too many historical precedents for us to fall to see it, as it is.We would all be looking at all the wrong places for an answer and solution to it, if we continue to see it as no more than an issue of race, religion or what constitute as facts of the country’s history or an illustration of it.

    There is nothing in it beyond the selfish and self interests of those who are exploiting the ignoramuses in and of us.


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