An Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) has suggested the government to consider naming the Malaysia-made vaccine “Bossku” or “Pekan” due to the former prime minister Najib Razak’s popularity.
The Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin said “Bossku”, which is Najib’s nickname given by his supporters, seems to work like “magic” on the people.
“If we create a new vaccine later, we could name it the “Pekan” vaccine or “Bossku” vaccine to get a strong response from the people.” he said during the Supply Bill 2022 debate at Dewan Rakyat yesterday (1 November).
Nonetheless, he reminded the government should get permission Najib himself first before using these names.
According to FMT, the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) had received allocation of about RM60 million to research and develop Malaysia’s own Covid-19 vaccine to reduce dependency on vaccine supply from other countries.
MOSTI’s Deputy Minister Ahmad Amzad Hashim also said of the total allocation, RM54 million was allocated to the Malaysia Genome Institute while RM2.5 million went to the research team to develop vaccines from using the Messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) technology.
“Another RM2.5 million has been allocated for vaccine development from inactivated toxins produced by germs at Universiti Putra Malaysia.” he said.
Meanwhile, there was an overwhelming response from netizens, with some lauded for the suggestion, while the rest questioned the reason to honour the former Prime Minister of naming the vaccine after being convicted criminals.
If you are wondering about the origins of the word “Bossku”, the word is widely believed to have originated from the lexicon used by the young, middle-class Malay in Sabah where it’s usually intentionally misspelt as ‘busku’ or ‘bussku’.
The term is believed to be popularised by the rempit culture of working-class riders.
Following which, Najib himself popularised the word by using it in the phrase ‘Malu apa bossku” in response to a now-viral video of him alongside a man who called out “Boss kita! (Our boss!).”
The phrase ‘Malu apa bossku’ then become an online campaign by his supporters for being catchy and memorable.
There were also a number of merchandise such as t-shirts, caps, vehicle stickers which uses the tagline.
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