KUALA LUMPUR — December 26, 2018: Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof has caused a buzz on social media after penning an open poetic letter to Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar who recently resigned from various party and government posts.
The commotion over the Facebook-posted letter was because many thought that Mujahid had overdone it and that the letter was deemed flirty.
A case in point that many brought up in insisting on the flirtatiousness was the overuse of the aristocratic Malay words of kekanda and adinda which, despite the literal familial meaning of older and younger siblings respectively, have romantic undertones.
However, the phrase which appeared to be most repulsive among critics was Mujahid’s claim that he had been losing sleep over adinda’s (Nurul Izzah) decision to suddenly relinquish those posts.
“Why is the country’s religious affairs minister using these words? Oh God, I feel like vomitting. Can’t you (Mujahid) just send Nurul Izzah a WhatsApp message?” was Hilal Azman’s potshot at Mujahid’s viral Facebook letter which at one time had 11,000 comments.
Similar to Hilal, Facebooker Muhd. Khairulnawawi also argued that Mujahid should not have put up the letter on social media as it could be misconstrued due to the way it was written and that it may reflect poorly on Mujahid as a minister.
“You’re one of the highest authorities over Islamic matters in the country, so you’re obligated to act like it. If you want to be all romantic and poetic, please do it behind closed doors,” he wrote.
The more creative critics have also penned a spoofed response from Nurul Izzah in the comment section of Mujahid’s letter, expressing disgust over it.
“Adinda almost vomitted upon reading this. Kekanda (Mujahid) is a minister in charge of religious affairs but still wants to be all poetic with me. Sorry, you’re not my taste,” read the whimsical make-believe response by Ahmad Shari.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also poked fun at Mujahid, asking him how many nights have he not been asleep worrying about Nurul Izzah.
“If you still cannot sleep then read a prayer. Ask Allah to allow you to sleep easily and peacefully,” read Najib’s response on Twitter which has so far been retweeted by 2,500 Twitter users.
A fake promotional poster of also a fake TV series called Kekanda di Cordoba starring Mujahid, Nurul Izzah, her parents PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Ser Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as well as Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, also went viral on Twitter.
The reference to Cordoba in Spain was because the letter was written by Mujahid when he was en route to Madrid from Cordoba whereas Khairy’s inclusion into the imaginary poster was likely due to the latter’s chummy Twitter exchange with Nurul Izzah last week.
The very few who defended Mujahid insisted that there was nothing wrong with the letter as it was written in accordance to the standard of Malay correspondence language in the olden days.
“Those who make a scene over this letter was not thought proper Malay. This is how the Malays write letters back when there was no computers. You guys are so dumb,” Facebooker Omar Mat Noor wrote in the comment section of Mujahid’s letter.
In his Facebook post today, Mujahid remarked that he purposely wrote the letter in such a way to grab more attention.
“It was fun to read the comments. I knew the use of kekanda-adinda would be attention-grabbing. Thank you for the criticisms but please understand the message that I tried to convey,” he wrote.