Monday, January 30, 2023

“Pls – don’t do that” Anwar urged Malaysians to stop calling him ‘Papa’

Social News"Pls - don't do that" Anwar urged Malaysians to stop calling him...

It appears that we, Malaysians, have a serious daddy issue. We used to label our prime ministers as ‘atok’, ‘abah’, and the latest — ‘papa’.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was recently appointed Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister, and some netizens are now labelling him as ‘papa’. However, what looked like a joke was not well received by Anwar himself, as he took it online to ask netizens not to address him as such.

The incident started when Twitter user @mirulwrld replied to Anwar’s tweet on cronyism with ‘Selamat pagi papa’ (good morning papa), to which Anwar replied, “Pls – don’t do that”.

Meanwhile, Malaysians were amused by his response and turned it into a meme.

At the time of writing, the meme by Twitter user @MakeItAQuote garnered over 500 retweets and 1,600 likes.

Meanwhile, some netizens poke fun at Anwar and reminded him that he once said he is the father of all races, whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban.

Trend in naming our PM ‘father’

We often give nicknames to those who are closest to us. However, it has been a trend for Malaysians to associate our prime ministers as ‘father’ or even ‘grandfather’. For example, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as ‘atok’, Muhyiddin as ‘abah’ and Ismail Sabri as ‘Pak Long’.

It is believed that this came from the school text which it associates our former Prime Ministers as the ‘father’ of a specific period in local history, with the country’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman typically referred to as the ‘Father of Independence’.

Nonetheless, the nickname ‘papa’ is believed to be used by Anwar’s children. For example, his eldest child Nurul Izzah Anwar paid tribute to her father after the general election by writing on Facebook, “I love you papa and I am always proud of you, even as you lay imprisoned as a prisoner of conscience.”

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