By Kaki Bedal
Recently France leader, Emanuel Macron, was slapped by a man when the French President visited a town in the south of the country.
The incident took place as Macron greeted a crowd in Tain L’Hermitage town as he tried to reconnect with voters ahead of presidential election campaign next year.
Subsequent reports alleged the two attackers in custody as having far right ties with one of them found to have a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf at their home.
Other reports speculate that the men actions were linked to Macron’s decisions about the Yellow Vest protests and other unpopular policies.
While it seems a simplistic explanation about the cause of the slap, this is not the first time French politicians were ‘attacked’.
In 2011, a bystander yanked then-President Nicolas Sarkozy’s suit during a farming event while his successor, Francois Hollande, was showered with flour the next year, months before winning the presidential election, according to France 24.
A more memorable incident involved then US President George W. Bush when he visited Baghdad in 2008 during a speech with Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki.
Bush dodged behind the podium to avoid a shoe that had been thrown at him from the crowd. Then another.
The thrower, journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, shouted “This is a farewell kiss, you dog!” in Arabic, followed by “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”
The journalist, and his shoe, became cultural symbols in the country, receiving widespread praise.
The incident against Macron this year and years earlier against Bush are just two examples of public discontent with politicians.
Is it warranted? Well, it happened for a reason or two.
Is it deserved?
One can only speculate but these show that protesting comes in different shapes and forms.
Maybe it’s just a matter of time for such things to happen in Malaysia but I doubt it.
Generally speaking, Malaysians have been venting their discontent, displeasure or anger in social media these days.
That is more than enough to show disagreement against some politicians or other people on issues of public interest.
We take pride in elaborating our views and opinions in a sane and reasonable way as channels of communication are more often than not are open to us to voice our feelings.
Of course, if one can slap someone, there are some, not just politicians who deserved to be slapped for one reason or another.
Being rude to others is one, whether one is talking on the Parliament floor or anywhere else for that matter.
So, should or will someone be slapped here like Macron?
Time will tell. – BACALAHMALAYSIA.MY
- The writer is an experienced analyst and media practitioner of nearly 30 years in the industry