Sex videos, lies and politics

Yes, the silly season continues. Last week, Malaysians woke up to yet another sensational scandal which came to light when Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, an Umno supreme council member, made a police report about videos showing a man who looked like a male politician having sex with another man.

Subsequently, a person said to be Muhammad Haziq Abdul Aziz, the principal private secretary to Deputy Primary Industries and Commodities Minister made a confession on Facebook that he was the other man and that the male politician was Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Azmin Ali. Well, this set the tone of all news and WhatsApp chatter for the rest of the week.

My first reaction was that all these goings-on seem to have happened before. Similar script, different actors. It happened before with the PKR President, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. In fact, he was twice accused of engaging in carnal intercourse against the order of nature under Section 377 of the Malaysian Penal Code of Unnatural Offences. He survived the scandal and seems to have come back stronger.

By the way, I just looked up the meaning of “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and it includes “introduction of the penis into … mouth of the other person”. This is irrespective of gender. Could this possibly lead to many Malaysians being charged for the crime?

So legally or morally, it seems many popular sexual acts done by legally married couples are considered unnatural sex acts and subject to punishment by some legal or religious courts. This would be a laughable matter, unless you, as a morally upright citizen, committed the acts as defined.

In the natural world, a praying mantis bites the head off her mate during the act of copulation and this is considered a natural act by commentators in documentaries. Ladies, please take note, I am not advocating this and guys please don’t get nervous.

In addition to this, far from being unnatural or against the order of nature, same-sex behaviour occurs among birds and beasts as it does among humans. Wonder if lawyers can argue in court that same-sex acts are actually part of nature? Anyway, I digress and back to the matter in hand.

It seems that unnatural sex is the preferred choice of political weaponry to try to bring down perceived political opponents. The whole unfolding scenario looks like a well-choreographed event with periodic releases of videos.

Azmin has, in the meantime, denied being the person in the video, and he already asked the police to investigate the matter.

Whether the video is believable is also a point of contention. With today’s sophisticated technology it is possible to manipulate and superimpose images to make them look real. This is referred to as “deepfake”.

Deepfake (a portmanteau of “deep learning” and “fake”) is a technique for human image synthesis based on artificial intelligence. It is used to combine and superimpose existing images and videos onto source images or videos using a machine learning technique known as generative adversarial network. The phrase “deepfake” was coined in 2017. Because of these capabilities, deepfakes have been used to create fake celebrity pornographic videos or revenge porn. Deepfakes can also be used to create fake news and malicious hoaxes. – Wikipedia, Deepfake.

For these reasons it is important that we leave it to the relevant authorities to investigate the entire sorry political episode.

However, let’s hope a character waving some papers in the state legislature won’t say, “It sounds like me, it looks like me, but it is not me,” in relation to promises made in a manifesto and claims it is a deepfake video.

It is good to note that many GPS politicians have made statements to the effect that this type of gutter politics should be condemned.

The actions of the unscrupulous persons behind the latest scandal have caused much emotional distress to the affected family members and friends.

This type of shenanigans also waste so much time of the affected politicians and people connected to them. It diverts their attention away from very important issues.

The citizens are also being cheated of their right of being ruled properly and deprived of good governance with the due attention to important daily real-life issues.

We are to date fortunate in Sarawak that such practices have not taken place here. Let’s hope the representatives of the Malaya-based political parties take note and maintain the civility of politics in the state.

In the meantime, the speculation of who is behind the sordid affair is ongoing. Let’s hope it all comes to an end soon and our federal government gets back to running the country.

 

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.